In a personal injury case, your first filing document is called a complaint. The complaint states the facts for recovery and the legal grounds for the case. You also state what you want the court to order you in terms of compensation and a final judgment in the case.
Sometimes, it’s necessary to amend your injury complaint. Through no fault of your own, you may find that your original court documents are lacking in some way. Fortunately, Nevada court rules may allow you to make changes to your complaint. Here’s what you need to know about amending your injury complaint from our personal injury attorneys.
What Is a Motion to Amend Complaint?
A motion to amend a complaint is a request to the court to change the original court filing documents. It means to change the basis for the case in some way. A motion to amend a complaint is the formal way of asking the court for permission to change the original complaint.
When Can You File an Amended Complaint in Nevada?
You can file an amended complaint in Nevada within 21 days of serving the original pleading. The 21-day rule applies only if the other side hasn’t filed any kind of responsive pleadings.
If the other side has filed responsive pleadings, you can file an amended complaint in Nevada only if the other side agrees or you get leave from the court. Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 15 governments amended complaints in the State of Nevada.
Do You Need a New Summons for an Amended Complaint?
No, you do not need a new summons for an amended complaint. You shouldn’t have to pay an additional filing fee, either. However, you need to make sure that your amended complaint is served within the rules for service of process in your jurisdiction.
How to Amend a Civil Complaint
To amend a civil complaint, you must prepare a new complaint. You title it an “Amended Complaint.” You file it with the clerk of the court where you filed your original case. Then, you must serve a copy on all of the other parties following the court rules for service of process.
Nevada Court Rule for Amending Personal Injury Complaints
The Nevada court rule for amending personal injury complaints is Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 15. The court rule states the rules for amended and supplemental proceedings. If you’re within 21 days of serving the original complaint, you can amend without leave or permission of the court. After 21 days have passed, you must get the consent of the other party or approval of the court to amend your complaint.
Will the Court Grant Leave to Amend a Civil Complaint in Nevada?
The court rules say that the courts should be liberal about granting permission to amend a complaint when justice requires. The rule says, “The court should freely give leave where justice so requires.”
In most cases, if you file your motion to amend relatively early in the litigation process, the court will approve it. It’s only in cases where the amendment would be unfair to the other party or delay the proceedings that the court won’t allow it.
What Does a Motion to Amend Mean?
A motion to amend means that you’re changing your original statement to the court. You want the court to disregard what you said before and accept what you’re saying now. A motion to amend may be necessary if you learn new information about your case or if there’s a mistake in your original filing documents. If your motion is accepted, the court disregards your previous statements and accepts your amended filing for the case.
What’s the Purpose of Amending a Personal Injury Complaint?
The purpose of amending a personal injury complaint is allowing the case to be decided based on new information or changing circumstances. For example, you may not know the true extent of your injuries. Alternatively, you may need to amend your complaint to add new types of damages. Another reason to amend your complaint is because the process of building your claim may reveal that there are new defendants that you may need to add to the case.
What Is the Purpose of the Court Rules for Amended Complaints?
The purpose of the court rules for amended complaints is to make sure that the legal process is fair to everyone involved. On the one hand, it wouldn’t be fair to a personal injury victim to refuse to allow them to amend the case pleadings if they learn new information or if the circumstances change.
But on the other hand, it’s not fair to the defendant to not give them a reasonable amount of time to prepare their case or to drag the case out too long because of frequent changes. The court rules for amended complaints aim to strike the appropriate balance between the interests of all the parties.
Controversies Surrounding Amending a Personal Injury Complaint
Even though amending a personal injury claim may be allowed by court rule, whether the court allows the amendment is still a complex and controversial question. Courts may disagree as to whether it’s fair to add a new defendant to the case after the statute of limitations has run for that defendant.
Usually, the courts rely on whether the defendant knew or should have known that they could have been brought into the lawsuit. For example, the court may look at whether there has been publicity in the case and whether the defendant is part of the same community as other parties. If the new party has the same attorney as an existing defendant, the court may agree that the party already has sufficient notice of the lawsuit.
Contact our Experienced Injury Lawyers
Have you been in a personal injury case? Do you have questions about amending a personal injury complaint? At Adam S. Kutner & Associates, we’re aggressive personal injury attorneys. We can help you pursue your claim to the fullest extent of the law, including seeking an amendment to the complaint as necessary.
Being in a personal injury accident is hard. But you don’t have to fight alone. Our attorneys are prepared to do whatever it takes for you to receive the justice that you deserve. Contact our attorneys for a free and confidential consultation about your claim.