It is possible to appeal a personal injury case decision. However, these appeals generally must be based on legal mistakes made by the court or jury. You typically cannot appeal a personal injury case decision simply because you are unhappy with the outcome.
If you need help navigating a personal injury case or have questions about your recent case, you might want to discuss your next steps with a personal injury lawyer familiar with appeals. Sometimes, it is advantageous to appeal a decision and fight for additional compensation.
When Can You Appeal a Personal Injury Case Verdict?
As a victim in a personal injury case, you likely understand the financial effects of suffering serious or catastrophic injuries. This could drive plaintiffs to consider an appeal if they are unhappy with a jury verdict. However, not recovering as much as you believe you should is typically not reason enough to appeal. Appeals must center on issues of law.
Legal errors can and do occur in civil cases, and they could affect the outcome of your case. Some examples of this include:
- The court would not allow your expert witness to speak on the lasting effects of your injuries
- Other evidence was disallowed when it should not have been
- The court perpetuated incorrect information, such as injuries related to pre-existing conditions not being covered
- The jury instructions were incorrect or lacking
- Jury misconduct
- A conflict of interest for the judge or jury
Sometimes, an attorney familiar with the appellate process can identify problems with a case that the victim cannot. If you believe mistakes were made, you might want to discuss an appeal with an attorney. They can help you determine your next steps.
You may only have a short amount of time to appeal a civil court verdict. Working quickly after a verdict is the best way to ensure you decide before time runs out.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
How do Personal Injury Appeals Work?
Many people think appealing a personal injury verdict will allow them to have a new trial. This is not necessarily the case. An appeal of a civil verdict is a request for a higher court to review the case and decision.
You will typically need to provide written documentation of the procedural or legal error made by the court that initially heard your case. The appellate court will review this and decide if they agree.
When your attorney demonstrates a mistake was made through an appeal, the appeals court generally remands your case back to the original trial court. This means the judge will review the case again and reconsider the verdict. Alternatively, the appeals court can uphold the ruling in the initial decision, meaning you lost the appeal, and the verdict stands.
You Cannot Appeal an Out-of-Court Settlement
Most personal injury cases end with an out-of-court settlement. This is true even when there is a lawsuit filed in the case. As the parties make their way through pretrial motions and the discovery process, they see more and more evidence. This often convinces defendants they will not win at trial, and they provide a better settlement offer.
When a settlement agreement occurs, neither side can appeal. This is true even if there is additional evidence uncovered later. Settlements are final as soon as both sides sign the release stating the plaintiff will not pursue additional compensation in the case in exchange for the agreed-on payout.
For this reason, you must carefully consider any settlement offer before accepting it. You’ll want to make sure any settlement you accept covers all the losses you suffered because of the accident, including your economic and non-economic damages. If you have not discussed your case with an attorney, it may be a good idea to do so. There is no second-chance option for personal injury settlements.
Who Should I Talk to About an Appeal?
If you believe your personal injury lawsuit outcome was affected by mishandling, legal errors, or other similar issues, you should discuss your concerns with a personal injury lawyer familiar with the appellate process in your state. Not all personal injury firms handle appeals, and your initial lawyer might not want to consider this option.
Since most personal injury attorneys provide free consultations to injured parties, you can discuss your options with a lawyer for free. They will likely ask questions to learn more about your case and your concerns. This could include:
- The type of injury case
- How much you believe the case might be worth
- What you believe went wrong in the initial trial
- How much time and money you might be willing to dedicate to getting justice
To navigate the appeals process, you will want a personal injury lawyer who is also an experienced litigator. Filing an appeal and taking a case to the appellate court is dramatically different from presenting a case in the lower courts. You want someone who knows the appellate process inside and out and understands why your case is a good candidate for reconsideration.
Consider discussing your options with an attorney and decide your next steps based on their advice and guidance. They are a knowledgeable source about your legal options.
Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer Near You for Free
The Morris Bart law firm’s personal injury lawyers offer free initial case reviews to accident victims. If you suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence in our service area, we are here to help. We have 15 offices serving the Gulf South, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas.
Contact us about your free consultation today. We will review your case facts with you, offer information about our services and fees, and determine if your case decision can be appealed.
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