Not every personal injury lawsuit is built to last. In some cases the defendant might convince the court to dismiss your claim, either without prejudice (meaning you can file the claim again) or with prejudice (meaning the claim is dismissed forever and you can’t refile). Note that under certain conditions the court can dismiss a claim on its own volition.
Here are several reasons a Louisiana court might dismiss your personal injury claim:
- You don’t show up for trial. If the plaintiff doesn’t appear on the day set for trial then any party can request that the case be dismissed. The court will decide whether to dismiss it with or without prejudice.
- The facts and the law are against you. After the plaintiff presents his evidence, the defendant can argue that, based on the facts and the law, the plaintiff doesn’t have a valid claim and the lawsuit should be dismissed. The case ends if the court grants this motion (which is also called a directed verdict).
- You didn’t meet certain deadlines.Plaintiffs have a limited amount of time to notify defendants of the lawsuit filed against them. If you don’t comply with the deadline then the case might be dismissed, usually without prejudice.
An experienced attorney can explain what it means if the court dismisses your case and whether you have additional options.
Example of a Dismissed Federal Case
Keep in mind that different rules apply to federal cases.
In May, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit filed three years ago by a former galley hand on an oil rig.
Denetra Thomas filed the lawsuit against Hercules Offshore Services, alleging that she was injured when her left foot struck a raised doorsill while working aboard a mobile offshore drilling unit. Doctors diagnosed Thomas with a lumbar strain and a right hip contusion. Thomas claimed, among other things, that Hercules’s negligence and general unseaworthiness caused her injuries.
The court dismissed these claims because there was no evidence that others tripped over the doorsill, no experts testified that the doorsill was an unsafe condition, and Thomas didn’t prove that Hercules violated any federal regulations.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Louisiana
There are steps you can take if your lawsuit is dismissed. But before it even gets that far, you have to file your lawsuit.
One of the most important things to remember is that Louisiana has a very strict deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Injured plaintiffs only have one year from the date of the accident to file their claim. One year isn’t a lot of time, especially considering most states give victims two to four years to file a personal injury lawsuit. Contact an experienced attorney immediately to get the ball rolling on your claim.
Contact Us Today
Contact Patrick Yancey Law Firm today for a free consultation if you are injured by someone’s negligence. Our experienced attorneys will guide you through the litigation process and explain the different motions that might be filed in your case, including motions to dismiss.