You'll face many challenges when litigating a lawsuit for damages and losses you sustained in a motorcycle accident, and one of them is when the defendant moves to another city, state, or even country in the middle of the trial. Here are a couple of ways you can proceed if the person you are suing suddenly relocates without notice.
File a Motion to Compel
Some defendants think if they can't be found then the lawsuits against them will magically disappear. You can tell the defendant in your case is probably thinking this way if he or she refuses to respond to legal notices or attorney requests, or if they don't show up for court appointments. The person is probably hoping you'll get sick of wasting time and money and just drop the suit altogether.
In this case, you can file a motion to compel with the court. This motion lets the court use additional tools to force the defendant to comply with requests or respond to notices. For instance, if the defendant doesn't complete a required interrogatory, the court may punish the person by making him or her pay your attorney's fees and other reasonable expenses you incur because of the defendant's delay. Faced with the possibility of paying even more money, the defendant will likely stop evading the lawsuit and participate as required.
Ask for a Summary Judgment
For really stubborn defendants, or those you're having difficulty locating, a second option for continuing your motorcycle accident lawsuit is to request a summary judgment. Basically, you'll be asking the judge to make a ruling in the case using the available evidence. If the judge decides in your favor, you can then use the court judgment to begin pursuing collection activity.
Pursuing a summary judgment rather than waiting for the defendant to respond is a good strategy because it concludes the case and lets you move onto the next stage, which is getting the money that's owed. Since court judgments are valid for a long time—you have 12 years to collect in Maryland for instance—this will give you more breathing space to track down the defendant and get what's owed.
Be aware, the defendant can contest the summary judgment. How long the person has varies depending on which state the judgment was obtained. Consult with your attorney about these time limits so you can make appropriate preparations in case the defendant chooses to exert his or her rights.
For help with your motorcycle accident case or assistance tracking down a recalcitrant defendant, contact a motorcycle accident attorney.Share
9 October 2018
Were you injured at work and fighting to get the workers compensation that you have paid into each year? Sometimes, getting those payments can be very difficult. What do you do when an employer fights the claim? Do you need a lawyer to help you through the process? How will you pay for a lawyer if you cannot even pay your electric bill? You are probably as lost as I was when I went through the process. Fortunately, you can learn from my experience with the system and find the answers to many of the questions that you have about filing a workers comp claim and fighting the system when it is denied.