Can You Appeal a Personal Injury Judgment?
You’ve just gone through a lengthy personal injury lawsuit; the case got taken to trial and you received an unfavorable judgment. That’s the end of the road, right? Wrong! Even after a judgment has been rendered by a trial court, this is not the end of the road, as an appeal can still be filed. However, an appeal is different from the initial lawsuit that’s brought, and such is one reason why many have questions about what appeals are and how they work. The commonly asked questions are answered in this blog.
Call 1-800-HURT-511 if you need best-in-class personal injury lawyers to help you file an appeal. The personal injury lawyers in Ridgewood we partner with have gotten numerous unfavorable judgments reversed, and they are sought-after appeal experts.
Who Can File an Appeal?
An appeal can be filed by any of the parties to a personal injury lawsuit. When a plaintiff appeals, it’s likely they’re seeking higher damages and less fault. On the other hand, when a defendant appeals, it’s likely they’re seeking to pay less in damages. There are civil and criminal appeals, and these are different in a number of key ways. Therefore, if you’re looking to appeal a personal injury case judgment, you need to hire a lawyer who specializes in civil appeals, particularly personal injury case appeals.
What Are Common Grounds for Filing an Appeal?
When a party to a personal injury case appeals the rendered judgment, they need to have a specific reason why. The appellate judges won’t go looking for errors on behalf of an appellee; the appellee needs to find these and then present them to the judges. For example, you may appeal on grounds that the jury in your case didn’t properly fulfill the jury instructions. Or, it could be that the judge didn’t allow the jury to review critical evidence that would’ve led them to reach a different verdict. That you weren’t allowed to have a crucial witness testify on your behalf could also be grounds for an appeal.
There doesn’t have to be one reason and one reason only for an appeal; you could have grounds on several different points. Asserting numerous grounds for appeal is known as arguing in the alternative, and appellees in New York personal injury case appeals often follow this practice. Here are more reasons why appeals are brought:
- The judge demonstrated prejudice
- Jury misconduct
- Insufficient evidence
- Verdict was rendered against the law
How Much Time Does One Have to File an Appeal?
If you’re looking to have a case overturned, you have 30 days after a trial court judgement is rendered to file an appeal. On the other hand, you’ll only have 10 days after a judgment is rendered to request a new trial.
How Are Personal Injury Judgements Appealed?
Appellate courts have a few options when an appeal is brought before them. Most often, appellees are seeking to have a trial court ruling overturned. Then there’s the option where an appellee is granted a new trial. For this latter option, the new trial will be conducted by the same court which rendered the original judgment. Here are some factors that can lead to a new trial being conducted:
- The jury didn’t act properly
- Opposing parties demonstrated misconduct
- New evidence has emerged
- The law was not properly applied
- The judge demonstrated prejudice during the case
Should your appeal result in a new trial, you’ll need to file formal court paperwork. Also, opposing parties must be served again. And if you’re looking to have a judgment overturned, you’ll need several documents, including appellate briefs, to convince the appellate judges to rule in your favor.
How Do Appellate Courts and Trial Courts Interact?
It’s standard for appellate judges to look for what’s known as abuse of discretion when reviewing a case. That being said, appellate judges often approach cases with a trust that the lower court acted responsibly. It’s accepted that lower courts are in the best position to determine witness credibility, and lower courts are also best positioned to determine which kind of evidence is permissible and which isn’t.
However, this doesn’t mean that lower courts are always right. Sometimes, a lower court will make a big mistake, and it’s in this instance when the appellate court needs to step in. If it can be shown that the trial court’s mistake led to a verdict that wouldn’t have been reached otherwise, an appellate court will need to take action. If, however, the error is found to be harmless and therefore unable to significantly influence the verdict, an appeal based on this error will be denied.
What Are Briefs & Oral Arguments?
An appellate brief is a document that an appellee (or their lawyer) will file early on in the appeal process. This formal document includes arguments regarding why the trial court’s judgment should be affirmed or reversed. The appellate brief is often more detailed than the oral arguments. The oral arguments are what the personal injury lawyer will present in front of the judges; the oral arguments are essentially an overview of the main points in the appellate brief. It’s during oral arguments when judges can ask clarifying questions to relevant parties.
What Are Some Common Appeal Outcomes?
After you file an appeal, several different outcomes could be reached. It’s also important to keep in mind that until the appeal process is over, no damages will be paid out. Here are three common appeal outcomes:
- The court revises the damages amount awarded by the trial court.
- The original verdict is vacated.
- The court orders a new trial.
Filing an appeal will elongate the overall process, and this is something you should consider before filing an appeal. Appealing will also make the overall process more expensive. You need to discuss things with your personal injury lawyer so you can get a clear picture of what will come from the appeal process.
Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help With Filing an Appeal?
Yes, a personal injury lawyer can help with filing an appeal. You can use the same lawyer you had during the trial or you can bring in another lawyer to handle the appeal. If you choose the latter option, the new lawyer will work with your old lawyer to get a clear idea of what happened at trial. Some consider going with the first lawyer as the best option, as this lawyer is most familiar with the case. However, it’s not always possible to have your first lawyer file an appeal, as they may lack time, experience, or skills required to file an appeal.
We know that finding a personal injury lawyer, especially one who can successfully reverse a judgement through the appeal process, can be challenging. That’s why we’re a one-stop solution for those who are seeking best-in-class legal representation. The lawyers we work with have secured over a billion dollars for their clients, and they’re preferred for the following reasons:
- They’re multilingual.
- They’ve helped others in your situation.
- You only pay them if you win money.
Call 1-800-HURT-511 now. Time is running out!