COMBAT FRIVOLOUS AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES & UPGRADE YOUR LITIGATION GAME

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In personal injury lawsuits, the term ‘frivolous’ unfairly targets plaintiffs. Yet it accurately described the tactics of insurance defense attorneys, especially in car accidents, trucking accidents, and commercial vehicle incidents. When facts and law favor the plaintiff, defenses become outlandish, aiming to delay and undermine legitimate claims. This leads to frivolous affirmative defenses within the defendant's or the UM-carrier's answer. As a dedicated personal injury attorney or car accident lawyer, it is crucial to determine how and when to file a motion to strike defendant's answer or respond to such defenses.

Target Their Defenses in the Legal Strike Zone

After being served with a personal injury complaint, defendants guided by their car accident lawyer (paid for by the insurance company) must respond with an answer. O.C.G.A. § 9-11-12(b) does require an answer to allege all defenses and objections, otherwise they are waived. However, all defenses and objections must be made in good faith and founded in fact or law. Plaintiff attorneys, including those specializing in truck accidents or motorcycle accidents, should target any “insufficient... redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous...” defenses. Key in mind, a motion to strike must be filed within 30-days, per O.C.G.A. § 9-11-12(f).

Tactical Advantage of a Timely Motion to Strike

Filing a motion to strike, especially in trucking accidents or car crash cases, serves multiple purposes. It not only narrows the defense's possible defenses and strategies but also compels them to genuinely engage with the case. This proactive approach discourages the lazy use of ‘kitchen sink’ defenses. Often in litigation, the squeaky wheel, gets the grease - potentially leading to a favorable settlement early in the process.

Furthermore, O.C.G.A. § 9-15-14 supports the plaintiff's position when filing a motion to strike, by allowing the recovery of attorney's fees and expenses in cases of frivolous defenses. This provision compensates for the extra effort needed to address baseless defenses. And it also deters the defense from employing such tactics in truck accidents, car crashes, and other personal injury scenarios.

Creating a Brief and Compelling Motion to Strike

Efficiency is key in drafting motions to strike affirmative defenses, especially in trucking accidents or car accident cases. Judges and staff attorneys appreciate concise, to-the-point arguments. Whether you're a truck injury lawyer or a car accident attorney, your motion should clearly articulate how each defense fails to meet legal standards or is irrelevant, without unnecessary elaboration.

Upgrade Your Legal Toolkit

Our Motion to Strike Template is a vital resource for personal injury lawyers, car accident attorneys, and truck accident law firms. Tailored to meet the unique challenges of cases ranging from motorcycle accidents to commercial truck crashes, it provides a strong foundation for crafting compelling legal motions. Enter your email to enhance your litigation strategy today.

PREVIEW:

IN THE STATE COURT OF HALL COUNTY

STATE OF GEORGIA

JOHN BROWN,

PLAINTIFF,

v.

ROBERT SMITH,

DEFENDANT.

CIVIL ACTION

FILE NO.:

PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO STRIKE DEFENDANT’S INSUFFICIENT DEFENSES AND FOR ATTORNEYS’ FEES

COMES NOW, Plaintiff in the above-styled civil action and moves this court for entry of an order

striking Defendant Robert Smith’s insufficient defenses pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 9-11-12(f), and for

attorneys’ fees pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 9-15-14, and in support shows the court as follows:

Statement of Facts

1. The essential facts of this case are not in dispute.

2. This case arises from a motor vehicle collision that occurred June 5, 2021.

3. On July 13, 2022, and within the applicable statutory period, Plaintiff filed suit against Defendant in the above-styled Court for causing the above-listed collision and for causing bodily injury to the Plaintiff.

4. On August 4, 2022, Defendant was served with the Summons, Complaint, Plaintiff’s First Request for Admissions, Interrogatories, and Request for Production of Documents, in compliance with OCGA § 9-11-4(e).

5. On September 1, 2022, Defendant’s Counsel filed an Answer.

6. In Defendant’s Answer, a plethora of specious defenses were asserted such as:

  • Statute of limitations;
  • Laches;
  • Insufficient service of process;
  • Improper venue;
  • Lack of personal jurisdiction;
  • Lack of subject matter jurisdiction;
  • Assumption of risk;
  • No duty owed to Plaintiff;
  • Negligence by the Plaintiff;
  • Failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted;
  • Failure to join a party;
  • Accord and satisfaction;
  • Payment, release, res judicata, and waiver.

7. On September 5, 2022, Plaintiff’s Counsel emailed counsel for Defendant to inquire whether the insufficient defenses would be withdrawn, and the answer amended.

8. To date, Defendant has failed to amend its Answer or withdraw its insufficient defenses.

Argument & Citations of Authority

9. O.C.G.A. § 9-11-11(a) states in pertinent part: “The signature of an attorney constitutes a certificate by him that he has read the pleading and that it is not interposed for delay.”

10. O.C.G.A. § 9-11-12(f) states in pertinent part that: “a party within 30 days after...

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