Can I Appeal My Personal Injury Verdict?
While most personal injury cases settle without having to go to trial, a small portion end up in court in an attempt to get fair compensation for the plaintiff.
Occasionally, the judge presiding over a jury trial may make a decision that substantially affects the outcome of the verdict. If that decision was contrary to the law, you may have grounds to appeal.
If you don’t agree with the verdict in your case, your Virginia personal injury attorney will discuss options with you for appealing your case.
You Can’t Appeal Just Because You’re Unhappy With the Amount
An appeal is not intended to be a “redo” of your case. There has to be a valid, legal reason for the appeal. Unhappiness with the amount of the verdict is not sufficient. Some appealable issues include:
- The judge denied evidence that should have been allowed
- There was jury misconduct, such as concealing personal information that could affect the juror’s decision
- The judge excluded the testimony of an expert witness who should have been allowed to testify
Process for Appeal
After receiving a verdict in a trial, you usually have to act quickly to file an appeal. In Virginia, the appealing party usually has 10 days to ask for the judge to reconsider the issues in your case.
A trial judge can decide to increase the verdict, order a new trial, or may refuse to change the verdict or order a new trial. In some cases, you may have a right to appeal your case to a circuit (or higher trial court) or, in Virginia, to the Supreme Court of Virginia.
What Happens in an Appeal
If your case gets appealed to a higher court, the new court will review the case to see if the error actually made a difference in the outcome of the case. In other words, if the court had made a different decision on the issue that was appealed, that decision would have had to affect the jury such that they could reach a different decision. If the trial court’s mistake was so insignificant that it wouldn’t have changed the verdict, that it called harmless error.
Appeals Can Be Time-Consuming and Expensive
Because appealing a trial verdict can be time-consuming and expensive in some instances, the decision to appeal shouldn’t be taken lightly. It is important to discuss your trial outcome with your attorney and carefully weigh all the information your attorney offers to decide if an appeal is right in your case.
Why Contact A Virginia Personal Injury Law Firm
If you’ve been injured as a result of any of the personal injury case types described above, the responsible party’s insurance company may contact you very quickly to take witness statements. The insurance company will try to build its case against you in hopes of reducing the value of your claim.
The insurance company will likely consult with their lawyers to determine how to build a case against you. When you’ve been involved in a personal injury accident, you don’t have any time to waste to make sure that you get the legal advice you need. The insurance company is acting quickly, you should too.
Ritchie Law Firm — Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers
The Ritchie Law Firm has successfully served personal injury victims for nearly a half-century. To best serve our clients, we have offices in 5 locations: Harrisonburg, Winchester, Staunton, and Charlottesville in Virginia as well as Martinsburg, WV.
When your health and family are on the line, we go into BATTLE for you!!
The Ritchie Law Firm only represents victims of all types of personal injuries, and we’ve done that for nearly half a century. We don’t represent insurance companies. You can talk to us for free. We work on a contingency fee, which means there’s no fee unless we win your case.