A motion to dismiss is a special type of procedural document involved in personal injury claims and various other types of lawsuits. A motion to dismiss basically requests the court to disregard the complaint being set forth by the victim in the lawsuit. Once the plaintiff files a complaint with the court, the defendant or the responding party can either respond to the complaint or they can file a pretrial motion such as a motion to dismiss.

Basically, a motion to dismiss basically requests the court not to proceed any further with the lawsuit proceedings, because there is some defect in the complaint or in the overall purpose of the case. Motions to dismiss are therefore reviewed very closely, because they have the potential to end a case before it even fully begins.

Who Can File a Motion to Dismiss?

In most cases, it is the defending party that files the motion to dismiss in response to the original personal injury complaint. As mentioned, the defendant can either respond directly to the complaint or they can file a motion to dismiss or other similar motion. There is usually a deadline regarding the time in which they can file a response.

If the defendant party chooses to file a motion to dismiss, the other side is also given an opportunity to respond to the motion. Thus, there can be a lot of "back and forth" correspondences between the parties during the pre-trial phase of the lawsuit. This often helps to clarify any issues that might arise in the upcoming lawsuit. It also helps to identify any cases that are frivolous or lack any serious merit.

What Are Some Justifications for a Motion to Dismiss?

A court can grant a motion to dismiss for many different reasons, most of them procedural in nature. These can include:

  • Party does not have the legal capacity to sue (for instance, the plaintiff is underage)
  • The original venue for trial is not the proper one
  • The plaintiff did not fully state their claim in the complaint (for instance, they didn’t list all the elements for proving a particular injury)
  • Expiration of various deadlines and submission dates
  • The plaintiff didn’t serve the defendant their legal papers correctly

Thus, it’s important for both sides to be aware of the possibility of a dismissal. That is, each party needs to be able to identify particular reasons for a dismissal, and should be able to defend against a motion to dismiss if necessary.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Personal Injury Procedural Matters?

Personal injury laws can often involve very complex procedural matters. You may need to hire a personal injury lawyer if you will be involved in a personal injury case. A qualified lawyer can provide you with advice on how to handle pretrial motions if necessary, and how to respond to them. Also, your attorney can provide you with legal representation during the court meetings and hearings.