Lost Your Personal Injury Case? What to Know about Appeals

When you must pursue compensation for a personal injury by suing the responsible party, the hope is that everything will be satisfactorily handled in one court case. However, if the court case did not go as you feel it should have gone, do you have any recourse? In this case, the next step is generally to file an appeal.

What can you appeal after your personal injury verdict? What will an appeal look like? And how can you improve your chances of success? Here's what every injured victim needs to know.

What Is an Appeal?

Appealing a verdict is not simply a request for a new trial. The court of appeals will look at the case as it was presented — along with all the evidence and judgments made before or during the trial — and determine if any errors were made.

Appeals cases are examinations of law rather than an attempt to relitigate the case itself. For instance, the court will not look at new evidence in most cases, but it can rule on whether or not a piece of evidence was incorrectly excluded by the judge. 

What Might You Appeal?

So, what elements of a case might you be able to appeal? Essentially, you may appeal based on things that were done incorrectly and not in line with the law and which could have affected the outcome. Some of the most common appeals cases involve the following:

  • Evidence improperly excluded or included
  • Expert witnesses were not allowed to testify
  • Improper jury instructions
  • Improper behavior by the jury itself
  • The jury disregarding law or instructions

An appeal may generally be made on one or more of these grounds, as most jurisdictions allow you to list any and all reasons for a single appeal. If the appellate court finds that an error was made, it may set aside a verdict, set aside or change damages, or even order a new trial. 

Should You Change Lawyers?

You have an important decision at this point. Should you work with the same team of attorneys or new ones? This is a personal decision based on your experience with your legal team. If you feel that they missed any key elements or didn't advocate for you strongly, you may work better with a new attorney. In addition, you may need new representation if your attorney doesn't have sufficient experience handling appeals cases. 

Where Can You Start?

The best place to begin your appeal is by meeting with an independent personal injury attorney in your jurisdiction. They can help you assess your chances of appeals success, find the best route to a win, and determine if you need new representation going forward. Make an appointment with a local personal injury law firm such as Voorhees Law Firm today to learn more.