Can I appeal a personal injury judgment?
It is a well-known fact that most personal injury cases do not end up in a trial. However, that doesn't mean that most cases get dismissed outright, most likely they get settled out of court. Why? It could be that neither side wants to take the risk of all that going to trial entails, just to end up losing. Keep in mind that many people may have already lost money by not being able to go to work or incurred large medical expenses. They may opt for a settlement just to cover their debts and look for an end to the problem.
If you are one of the lucky ones whose personal injury cases do end up in court, you may be dissatisfied with the ruling. And you may also want to know what options are open to you at this point. Can you appeal the judgment? Let's start by understanding what exactly is an appeal and how it works.
What is an appeal and how does it work?
When you file an appeal, you are requesting a higher court review the decision of a lower court. At this point, no new evidence or facts can be presented. An appeal is not a trial. In this case, an appeals attorney presents the facts of the case to the appeals court in a legal brief. Based on the information presented in the brief, the appeals court decides whether to affirm or reverse the trial court's decision.
Do you need to hire an appeals lawyer?
Yes. And they will start by reviewing all the important papers. To begin with, they will need to become completely familiar with the judgment of the lower court. This research will reveal whether the judgment is final and signed and whether it can be appealed.
Don't waste your time or your lawyer's by trying to explain to them some facts that have not been included in the brief. Remember that the appeal will not include an addition of new facts but only the pieces of evidence that are already included in the brief. It is the job of your appeals lawyer to study the facts within the brief and find any information that may help the case. The objective is to use the information that has already been presented and convince the appeals judge that the decision should be reversed.
If you won the case, why would you need an appeals lawyer?
Another instance when an appeals lawyer may be necessary is when your opponent is unhappy with the judgment of the court and appeals. Then, your own lawyer will have to write a brief to defend the court's original decision.
This means that the appeals process works both ways:
To correct a mistake
To clarify and interpret the law
When does the appeal process start?
In general terms, it starts when a party's petition is granted by the appellate court. Both parties will then submit their legal briefs. An oral argument is also allowed, during this session judges may ask questions to attorneys to challenge their arguments. After deliberation, the court will issue a formal opinion.
How can you find an experienced personal injury appeal attorney to help with your appeal?
When you need to count on an experienced legal team to help you appeal a judgment, Timothy J. Ryan & Associates Personal Injury Lawyers can help. Reach out to them today and request an initial free consultation.