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Getting the Timing Right to Get the Summary Judgment Outcome You Need in Your New York Auto Accident Case

April 6, 2019 at 12:18 PM
by Newman, Anzalone & Newman, LLP
Getting the Timing Right to Get the Summary Judgment Outcome You Need in Your New York Auto Accident Case

In any civil lawsuit case, there are many extremely important decisions that must be made. It is important to recognize that, with each vital choice, there are two equally important aspects – making the right decision and making it at the right time. Summary judgment may be the correct procedure to get you the victory you need, but not if you file your motion for summary judgment prematurely. To help you be sure that your timing is right, be sure you have an experienced New York City injury attorney on your side.

A couple of recent auto accident cases reflect how this summary judgment process can work or fail. L.M. was a driver who was allegedly injured in Brooklyn when he was rear-ended at a T-intersection. L.M. had asserted in his case that he had stopped at a red light and initiated his right-turn signal, then was hit in the rear just as soon as the light turned green.

L.M. moved for summary judgment. The defendant argued that L.M.’s motion was premature. The trial court decided that it was not, and ruled for L.M. (The Appellate Division later affirmed that outcome.) In order for the defendant to have had any possibility of having a case, he needed some something that refuted what L.M. had asserted and that provided some sort of non-negligent explanation for having rear-ended L.M.

The defendant didn’t have any of that, so L.M.’s motion for summary judgment was not premature. This meant that L.M. did not have to go through a trial on the issue of liability and could proceed directly to a trial where he would prove the extent of his damages. By going forward with summary judgment without waiting, L.M. was saved time, stress and likely expense, as well.

Another injured driver – one with a less successful result – was K.E. K.E. was injured in an