You have a right to appeal the verdict in a personal injury case. This right is available to a defendant or plaintiff who can show that the court erred in its ruling in light of the evidence that was presented, or they have cause to believe that there was inappropriate behavior allowed during the trial – like jury tampering. You cannot appeal a court decision on the grounds that you simply disagree with the court's findings. Here is how you can appeal the court's decision in a personal injury lawsuit.
Maintaining Legal Representation
Most lawyers who represent personal injury cases do so on a contingency basis. This means your lawyer will only get paid if you win. Most contingency agreements do not require the same lawyer to represent you in an appeal case, and you will either have to come to a new agreement with your current attorney or find a new lawyer. If you extend your agreement with your lawyer, you should make sure they know how to handle an appeal case (not all trial lawyers are knowledgeable about the appeal court's rules and regulations). You will most likely have to pay out of pocket to have a lawyer represent you in an appeal case.
The Appeal Process
You typically have only 30 days to file an appeal once the judge in the civil court has given their verdict and all post trial motions have been settled. The appeal process is not the start of a new court case – it is often simply a review of the materials and testimony presented at the civil trial by a panel of appeal court judges (usually made up of either three or five judges per panel).
The appeals case is usually handled solely by your lawyer, and your presence is often not required in the courtroom. Your lawyer will point out in the record where they feel the previous court erred or where members of the court (judge, lawyers, and jury) did something wrong. The appeal court's panel will then take this information and review it before they vote on the merits of the case. If the majority of the justices vote in favor of your appeal, you win; but if they vote against you, you lose.
You typically only win the chance to have your case heard again in a lower civil court, or the appeals court can simply agree with the findings of the civil court and no further action is required, or the appeal court can deny your appeal on the grounds that the issues you are raising can't be appealed (like award amounts).
If you are looking for an attorney to represent your appeal case, then contact a firm like Edward J. Achrem & Associates, Ltd.