When a person files any type of lawsuit in the state of Nevada, the defendant (the person they’re suing) must file a formal reply. Unfortunately, there are cases where the defendants take no action and don’t comply with the litigation process. So, the question remains, what happens if the defendant cannot be located for a lawsuit following a car accident in Nevada?
In this post, we’ll answer this question and explain in detail what happens in the courtroom if the defendant is AWOL.
What if a Car Accident Lawsuit Defendant Is AWOL?
Once you file a personal injury lawsuit against a person or business after a car accident, they’re legally required to respond. However, your car accident lawyer can ask the judge to grant a default judgment if they don’t. If that happens, you win the case. Even if the defendant shows up eventually, they can’t reverse the decision unless they prove excusable neglect.
Simply put, they need a good reason for not responding or taking any action after being served with the lawsuit. However, before the judge passes the verdict, the plaintiff must prove that:
- The defendant was served with the Notice of Claim.
- The defendant can read and write.
- The defendant has no physical or mental disability stopping them from attending.
- The defendant is not currently on active duty in the US military.
Moreover, the plaintiff must have a valid claim in the lawsuit and present their evidence to receive compensation for injuries and/or damages.
What Happens When the Defendant Learns About the Default Judgement
If the defendant later learns about the default judgment against them, they can file a Motion to Vacate the Default Judgement within one year from the verdict date. Following the filing, the judge will request the defendant to appear in court and provide a solid reason to vacate the judgment. If they do so successfully, they can schedule a new trial on the plaintiff’s original claims.
Contact a Nevada Car Accident Lawyer Right Away!
Compliance with strict deadlines is one of the most important aspects of pursuing a car accident case in Nevada. By hiring the services of an experienced Nevada car accident attorney, you can ensure your case doesn’t derail on a technicality. Contact Bourassa Law Group for a free consultation, and let us help ensure AWOL defendants don’t get their way in court after failing to respond to your suit.
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