You’re stunned: you and your lawyer had the evidence. You called in expert witnesses and made visual aids. Your witnesses were all credible and compelling. The jury looked like they were nodding along with your attorney throughout the whole case—and then they decided the defendant isn’t liable for your injuries. Is that the end?
Personal injury cases rarely go to trial; but when they do, there’s always the possibility that the case won’t go your way. Luckily, both parties have the right to appeal the case under limited circumstances.
When Can I Appeal the Verdict?
When appealing a case, your grounds have to be a bit more substantial than “I didn’t win and I don’t think that’s fair”—even if that’s the truth. First, you’ll need to discuss the case with your attorney and ask them what they think. Even if they think it was an unfair verdict, there might not be evidence of misconduct or error that would allow you to appeal.
Appeals courts don’t conduct new trials. Instead, they review the trial record—all the court transcripts, evidence and other documentation involved—and determine whether there was an error regarding how the law was applied, an error of fact, misconduct by the jury of defense, or another relevant circumstance.
What Happens When I Appeal?
If you’re one of the rare plaintiffs who goes to trial and has a good case for appeal, your attorney will file a notice of appeal with the applicable appellate court. Both parties will submit appellate briefs and evidence outlining their case.
At that point, the appellate judges will review the record and decide whether there’s grounds to overturn the verdict. If so, your verdict might be partially or fully overturned—and your potential compensation may change as a result. If not, you’re back to square one.
If there is a truly compelling legal question or error, you may be able to appeal to a higher court. However, this tends to be extremely rare. Practically speaking, it’s best to win in trial court. Appellate cases can be expensive and may take a year or more to litigate (if you qualify for an appeal in the first place.)
In short, it’s best to pick the most experienced, zealous lawyer you can find, and let them fight on your behalf. With any luck, your case will settle out of court.
Discuss Your Case with an Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Get the right attorney the first time. When you’ve been harmed due to someone else’s negligence, I’ll Make Them Pay!® You may be able to recover damages for your medical bills, lost wages and other costs. Call me today at 877.944.4373 for a consultation.