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Summary Judgment in Florida Personal Injury Cases

law booksUnfortunately, people in Florida are injured in accidents all the time. If you or someone close to you has been hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for your harm. If you find yourself in a lawsuit, however, you could be faced with a motion for summary judgment, which is a request to end a case without a trial. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our skilled Miami injury attorneys understand how to navigate these types of cases, including how to use and respond to certain procedural devices in the case, like motions for summary judgment.

In law, a motion for summary judgment is filed by an opposing party and claims that you cannot win your case because there is no legal dispute or because your claim is without merit. Also sometimes known as ‘judgment as a matter of law,’ summary judgment is a method to decide an issue or an entire case without going to trial. Failing to respond to a motion for summary judgment can result in your case being dismissed or a judgment being entered against you.

Under the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, a party is entitled to summary judgment only when there is “no genuine issue as to any material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” The court will grant summary judgment if one side presents undisputed facts that entitle that side to win because of the existing law relating to that issue. Put another way, in order for summary judgment to be appropriate, the moving party must establish that the opposing party cannot win, even if all credibility conflicts are resolved in the opposing party’s favor. For example, if a jurisdiction requires the plaintiff in a medical malpractice claim to produce an expert witness to establish his or her case, summary judgment may be appropriate if that plaintiff cannot produce a qualified expert.

If there is a dispute over a material fact, the court cannot grant summary judgment. As a result, when you are opposing a summary judgment motion, you do not have to show that you will win on the issue. You only have to show that a genuine issue of material fact exists. It is important to note that Florida courts view a motion for summary judgment in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, which means in a close case, the person moving for summary judgment will typically lose the motion.

If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be able to recover damages for your harm. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our seasoned Miami injury attorneys will thoroughly review the facts of your case and advocate for your rights accordingly. You can rest assured that we understand the nuances of Florida personal injury law and will apply our knowledge to your case. To speak to us in more detail about your legal rights and options, call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or contact us through our website.

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