What Is A Summary Judgment in a Tennessee Auto or Truck Accident Case?

A "summary judgment" is a decision by a judge that an automobile accident, truck accident, or other type of case should not go to a full trial before a jury.  A judge can make a decision not to let a jury decide a case only if the judge determines that there is no dispute about the important facts of the case and that a reasonable jury could arrive at only one result in the case.  If that is true, the judge will grant summary judgment (that is, a judgment before trial) to the person who he or she thinks should win the case before permitting a full trial on the case before a jury.

Sometimes a judge will grant a "partial summary judgment."  Thus, the judge will determine that a car accident or truck accident was the sole fault of the defendant (the person or company sued in the case) but a jury must determine what damages were caused in the wreck and the monetary value  of the damages.

Summary judgments are very rare in auto accident and truck accident cases.  They are much more common in medical malpractice cases and in cases where people have been injured by defective or unreasonably dangerous products.