How Do I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

nevada-supreme-court-buildingFiling a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary to obtain compensation after someone hurts you. You will need to follow Nevada rules of civil procedure when you file your injury lawsuit.

Because there are many specific requirements associated with suing someone, it is advisable to speak with a personal injury lawyer for help as soon as possible after you are hurt. Your attorney can guide you through every step of filing a personal injury lawsuit.

How to File a Personal Injury Claim

Here is a quick rundown of action items when deliberating whether to file a claim for compensation after an injury (or wrongful death of a loved one):

  • Determine who to take legal action against. There may be situations when you can sue multiple defendants. For example, if you are injured by a doctor, you may be able to sue the doctor and also the hospital where the treatment was provided. If you are injured by a trucker, you may be able to sue the driver and also the transportation/freight company that employs the commercial driver.
  • Determine which court will hear your case. You must file a lawsuit either in the jurisdiction where the injury happened or in the location where the defendant resides or operates. If your damages are equal to $5,000 or less, the case should be filed in small claims court. For damages between $5,000 and $10,000, the case should be filed in Nevada Justice Court. For claims exceeding $10,000, your case will be heard in Nevada District Court. If you and the defendant are from different states and your damages exceed $75,000, then you may file a federal claim.
  • File a complaint with the court. You will need to state legal grounds for your lawsuit when you file a complaint. This means you need to specify some legal basis for taking action against the named defendants. You can refer to a law that has been broken or to precedent set in past similar cases when a judge or jury has held a defendant accountable for injuring someone. Your complaint must be filed within the statute of limitations, which is two years for most negligence cases and for wrongful death claims in Nevada. If your case arises out of a defective product, you may have as long as four years to file your complaint.
  • Serve the defendant. When you file a lawsuit, a summons is issued and must be served against the defendant so the defendant will receive notice. If you do not know where the defendant is, then you can provide notice by publication if you follow specific statutory requirements.

After the defendant has been notified of the lawsuit, the case will move forward through the pretrial and trial phase. Many cases settle very early, so you may be able to obtain compensation for injuries without ever actually filing a lawsuit or without ever actually appearing in court.

Your attorney will help with every step of the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit, so call a legal professional to advise you as soon as possible after sustaining an injury.