To the uninitiated, the civil justice system in Nevada can seem like a bundle of red tape, characterized by strange terminology and confusing processes. However, filing a lawsuit actually follows an orderly set of steps that provide a means for resolving various types of disputes.
Understanding the process of filing a lawsuit in Nevada is essential, as it can help you feel more confident in navigating the system and seeking compensation or court intervention in your case.
What Are the Steps Involved in Filing a Lawsuit?
Filing a lawsuit begins before you ever step into a courtroom. The team at De Castroverde Law has created an outline of the various steps and what they mean.
A lawsuit has to have a strong foundation of facts and evidence before going to court. Before you ever file a case, you must document that you have reasons to believe you have a legally valid claim. Lawsuits cannot be used as weapons. Review the facts, the evidence, and the law with your attorney, so your case is not dismissed as frivolous. Your research should establish that you are suing the proper party or parties and are using the correct court; otherwise, it may not be able to proceed.
Researching grounds for a lawsuit does not mean you have to file one. During this period, you and your attorney can discuss with the opposing party and their counsel to settle the dispute outside of court.
Filing a Complaint
Initiating a civil case starts with drafting a complaint, which lays out the facts, evidence, and law as you see them. The complaint also gives you a chance to state what you want the court to do in response.
In most instances, the remedy section involves a request for compensation — money you feel will adequately compensate you for your damages. You may also ask for a court order or injunction against the other party.
Once you file your lawsuit with the court, your next step is to ensure the opposing party or parties know that they have been named in the complaint. It would help if you did this in a timely way.
In the discovery phase, each side in a lawsuit must share their evidence, including letters, memos, photos, or direct testimony of witnesses. You obtain that testimony through the deposition process, which means asking questions of the witness. You will have to give a deposition, too.
As discovery unfolds, the parties then file motions based on the evidence. More often than not, these motions represent an effort to end the case through a motion for summary judgment, or to narrow the scope. In addition to filing motions, your team will be busy responding to opposing actions.
Proceeding to Trial
Once the judge rules on pre-trial motions, the case is ready for trial. After much procedural business, the patient will start by selecting a jury, opening statements, witness testimony, closing statements, and the verdict.
You can settle your case with the opposing party at any time leading up to the verdict and sometimes even afterward. Parties in a lawsuit often prefer to settle a case because they have more immediate control of the terms than they do with a decision from a judge or jury. If you do take the case to a verdict, there will be additional proceedings to enter the judgment and set up terms for collecting the decision.
What Types of Lawyers Should You Look For?
The lawyer you choose for your lawsuit ultimately depends on the nature of the case. The practice area most often associated with lawsuits are personal injury lawyers, such as those who work at De Castroverde Law Group of Las Vegas.
Personal injury law is a broad category that involves lawsuits over incidents that cause injuries or other damages. Quite often these are motor vehicle accidents or slip-and-fall cases. Personal injury law also covers damages from medical or other forms of professional malpractice. Personal injury lawyers are often described as having experience in general or property liability cases.
Is It Worth It To Hire a Lawyer?
You do not have to hire an attorney to file a civil lawsuit. But there are many reasons why you probably should. First, attorneys provide an objective viewpoint about the facts, the evidence, and the law. If you handle your own case, you may make decisions based on emotion.
Handling your own case also requires enormous amounts of research into the relevant law and rules of civil procedure. Attorneys deal with these matters on a daily basis and have the experience, education, and relationships to position you for success. Attorneys can track deadlines effectively and also have experience in negotiating settlements — a skill that may not be comfortable for non-lawyers.
How Long Can a Lawsuit Last?
It can take a long time to complete all the phases of a civil lawsuit. The length depends on the complexity of the case and the amount of evidence and depositions involved. Complexities in the law can also lengthen the time to resolution. It’s rare, but it can take two to three years to finish a lawsuit. Remember, though, that you do not have to follow one single course of action. Through adept negotiation, you can settle your case at any time.
Trust the Personal Injury Attorneys from De Castroverde Law
Lawsuits provide a means for you to seek compensation for injuries from accidents and professional malpractice or damages to your property or reputation. The team at De Castroverde Law Group is ready to stand by your side. We will carefully review the facts and evidence in your case and make a recommendation for how to proceed to get a proper and just resolution. As your attorneys, we will fight hard for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. Call us or contact us online for an appointment.