Under New York Law, attorneys for the plaintiff (the injured party) and defendant have the option of making a motion for summary judgment at any time during the course of the case. Summary judgment in negligence actions are appropriate where “no genuine issue of material fact exists.” In other words, where everyone involved in the accident agrees on the facts of the case, a judge may decide the case as a matter of law without the case going to trial.
When either party makes a motion for summary judgment, the court may deny the motion or grant the motion. If the defendant moves for summary judgment, and the court grants the motion, the entire case is dismissed. On the other hand, when a plaintiff moves for summary judgment and the court grant’s the motion, the plaintiff in essence, wins the case. The only issue then remaining is how much money the personal injury plaintiff is entitled to. If the case is not settled beforehand, a jury will decide how much money to award the plaintiff.
There are many reasons why NY Personal Injury Lawyers should take advantage of this great opportunity. By winning the case via motion for summary judgment:
- The plaintiff and his or her attorney will save the time and expense of preparing for trial;
- They will no longer risk losing the case at trial;
- A jury will not be able to attribute any negligence to the plaintiff, who will therefore get the full amount of damages awarded; and
- Whatever amount the jury awards the plaintiff at the trial on damages, he/she will receive an additional 9% interest of that award from the date that the summary judgment motion was granted and entered. (For example, if the trial takes place one year later, then for every $100,000 that the jury awards the plaintiff, an additional $9,000 will be added to that number.
Too often, New York Personal Injury Attorneys do not take advantage of this great weapon. Aggressive personal injury lawyers are necessary to get the most compensation for those who have been injured.
Today, the law firm of Isaacson, Schiowitz & Korson, LLP received a decision on one of their cases from the Supreme Court, Suffolk County which granted their motion for summary judgment. There, a 59 year old woman was shopping for groceries in the defendant’s supermarket, when she was struck by a U-boat carrying cases of merchandise that were stacked 6 feet high. In their motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff’s attorneys convinced the court that the defendant’s employee was using the U-boat improperly. They argued that had the defendant’s employee pulled the U-boat as he was trained to do, as opposed to blindly pushing it, this accident would not have occurred. The court agreed and granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment.
This decision now puts a lot of pressure on the defendant. Their choices are to either offer the plaintiff a settlement that would fully compensate her for the injuries and pain and suffering she sustained as a result of their negligence or take the case to trial knowing they will lose, the only question being, how much.
If you were involved in an accident, it is important to hire not only experienced legal counsel, but a law firm with aggressive attorneys who will do everything possible to get their clients top dollar. Make sure you have aggressive personal injury lawyers on your side.