If you have already started your personal injury case in Nevada or are considering filing a claim, it is important to know what pretrial motions are and how they might affect your case. A pretrial motion is a formal request for the judge to resolve an issue or question before the trial begins.
A preliminary move can make or break your case. It’s critical to understand how they work, how to use them to your advantage, and how to fight back when the other side tries to use them as an unfair legal tactic. Your personal injury attorney can help you better understand how pre-trial motions can affect your case. Here’s what you need to know about the common types of motions in a personal injury case.
What is a motion?
A motion brings a question to the judge for a decision. You ask the judge to answer a question about the case before the trial begins. A pretrial motion sets the rules for the trial.
It can result in a rule on how the parties can gather evidence for trial. A motion can even answer a question that is so important that it ends the case or convinces the parties to reach a resolution of the case.
Do I bring a pretrial motion or do I respond to it?
Either party can file a pretrial motion. You can be the one to file a motion to strengthen your case or answer critical procedural questions. When you are a personal injury victim filing the claim, filing a pre-trial motion can help make the case faster, help you obtain evidence, and can make your case stronger to present at trial.
On the other hand, you may be the one responding to a pre-trial move. If the other side makes a preliminary move, it is up to you to respond appropriately. When the other party files a motion, you can file a counterattack to ask the judge to rule on a different issue.
Types of preliminary movements:
Here are some of the pre-trial moves you might encounter during your injury case:
Motion for Summary Disposition
A motion for summary disposition asks the court to decide the case immediately. When a party files a motion for summary disposition, they tell the court that the other party does not disagree with them on any relevant facts in the case.
The party filing the motion believes that the law is on their side and they deserve to win the case without delving into the facts of the case. Rule 56 of the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure provides the rules for filing a motion for summary disposition.
Motion for Alternative Service
If the other side is hiding so you cannot deliver the documentation, or if they are difficult to find, you can file a motion for alternative service. Alternative service is a way for the other party to know that there is a case against them without having to attend to them personally.
The court may ask you to post a notice in court, in a newspaper, or it may even ask you to send a message on social media. You must get court approval before you can use an alternative service.
Motion for judgment by default
When the defense does not file a formal response to your initial complaint, you can file a motion for a predetermined judgment. Winning a motion for default judgment means that you win your case because the other party has chosen not to participate.
If you win a motion for default judgment, the court finds in your favor and proceeds to enter a judgment and begin the collection process.
Movement with respect to discovery
When you file a recovery claim, both parties have the opportunity to build their case by gathering evidence. Gathering evidence that is under the control of the other side is called discovery. As you go through the discovery process, you may disagree with the other party about what evidence to present and what evidence to submit.
If you ask the court to step in and resolve the disagreement, you file a motion regarding discovery. A motion related to discovery may also be called a motion to compel, a motion to vacate, or a motion for an order of protection.
Motion to dismiss
The other party can ask the court to dismiss the case for different reasons. They could say that there is no jurisdiction in the court where you filed the case. Lack of jurisdiction means that the court does not hear those kinds of cases or that you took the case to the wrong court location.
The defense can also file a motion to dismiss, claiming that you did not properly notify them of the case. That is called lack of service . They can also file a motion to dismiss the claim that their claim for recovery does not indicate a mistake was made so that the defendant is legally liable.
That’s called a motion to dismiss for failure to file a claim. In some cases, if the court grants a motion to dismiss, you have the opportunity to present the case again. In other cases, the decision is final.
Motion to limit the evidence
You may want to ask the court to admit or exclude specific evidence before trial. That way, you can prepare your case knowing what is allowed for evidence. A motion regarding evidence may also be called a motion in limine or a motion to exclude evidence.
How can I protect myself?
Because a pretrial motion can affect the outcome of the case, it is critical to work with an experienced injury attorney at all stages of the case. An experienced attorney knows how to write your opening pleadings in a way that ensures they contain the statements and claims necessary for relief.
An experienced Nevada personal injury attorney can help you identify, prepare, and file preliminary motions before trial. They can also help you respond to movements on the other side. If you are considering filing a personal injury claim or have already started a claim, don’t risk preliminary motions getting in the way of recovering the compensation you need to get back on track.
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