Motions Definition in Personal Injury Law

A motion is a written request to a judge for an order, judgment, or anything outside the normal litigation process.

Trial lawyers can employ motions at nearly every stage in the litigation process. At Berger and Green, our personal injury attorneys know how to use motions to save time and money, obtain information, or receive a favorable outcome without a lengthy trial. For help with your case, call 412-661-1400 today.

What Are the Most Common Types of Motions?

Motions can accomplish many objectives in a court case. The most commonly used motions include the following.

Motion for Summary Judgment

A motion for summary judgment is a request for the court to rule on a case before it goes to trial. This is the most commonly used type of motion. If we feel confident in the outcome of your case, we can save a lot of time, energy, and money by filing a motion for summary judgment and effectively avoiding a drawn-out trial.

For an attorney to file a motion for summary judgment, several conditions must be present. Most importantly, no facts pertaining to the case may be in doubt. If any uncertainty exists as to the facts of a case, the judge must deny a motion for summary judgment, as the purpose of a trial is to bring all the facts to light.

For example, in a car accident claim, both parties would have to agree on all of the facts regarding the crash to qualify for a summary judgement. If the parties do not agree on what led up to the wreck, a judge would deny this motion.  

Motion to Dismiss

Another motion involves asking the court to dismiss a case. Attorneys do this using a motion to dismiss. This motion can be highly effective, for instance, during criminal trials when new evidence comes to light that a defense attorney feels exonerates his or her client, or creates such a level of doubt that continuing with the trial would be a waste of resources.

In a personal injury case, the defendant’s lawyer may file a motion to dismiss to try to protect their client from paying damages.

Do Motions Require Hearings?

When an attorney files a motion, he or she may or may not have to attend a hearing to argue the motion. In a non-hearing motion, the court bases its decision solely on the information submitted by the attorney with the motion. In a hearing motion, the court still uses this information, but also requires the attorneys to appear in person to argue the motion.

In either case, the judge reviews the motion, and then renders a decision, usually in writing, explaining the reasoning behind his or her ruling.

How Can Motions Help My Case?

A well-timed and well-executed motion can bring your case to a favorable outcome much more quickly than if we were to let a long trial play out. At Berger and Green, our attorneys know when to bring a motion and how to compose it for the best chance of a favorable outcome.

For over 40 years, our legal team has been successfully serving clients. Contact our office today at 412-661-1400 for a free consultation.