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What Happens in Personal Injury Appeals Court?

There is always a winner and a loser in a personal injury lawsuit, though sometimes negotiations can make the loser suffer less financially. If you lose a personal injury lawsuit, what happens next? You have to make some key decisions, especially whether or not you want to go to appeals court.

What is appeals court?
All court cases have the opportunity to go to appeals court for various reasons, sometimes as far as the U.S. Supreme Court. In short, the appeals court is an opportunity to question that the law was followed. If you won, the one you sued for damages may question that the laws were in fact followed. If you lose, you might question that the laws were followed. Note the focus on “laws”: appeals is not about right tor wrong, necessarily, but if laws were followed correctly. If you lose because of weight of evidence,  and the laws were followed, then you likely have no case. If, on the other hand, you believe the decision did not follow government laws, you have a case. This can get complex. If you have a good lawyer he or she can help you decide.

How can you win?
In appeals court you do have the opportunity to question the judges decision. Say for example you were hit by a car, suffered serious injury, and sued for personal injury damages. But somehow liability could not be proven, and you lost. The judge may have not taken into account liability laws, where even if you were partially at fault you deserve damages. In this case, you might appeal based on the interpretation of the law.

Should you retain your lawyer?
If you lost, you may or may not want a different lawyer. This depends on how effective they were, and though that may be obvious, what is not obvious is that losing does not mean the lawyer failed. Sometimes your case is simply not strong enough. On the other hand, if your lawyer seemed confused during the trial, didn't put enough time into the case, and didn't communicate well with you, it's commonsense it consider a new lawyer.

What if all laws were followed?

If all laws were correctly followed, you have no appeals case and you may avoid further costs by accepting that. However, the decision should not be made without a lawyer.

What if the defendant appeals?
If you win, the party you sued, the defendant, can also appeal. In this case, it's crucial to have proper legal representation. The bigger the settlement is, the more chance the defendant might appeal. However, rarely are settlements reversed.

Who can help?
If you're unsure of where to go, you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. If you already have a lawyer, and are happy, they are a major asset. Do not make major legal decisions without the guidance of an experienced lawyer. If you are ever unhappy with your lawyer, there is no law saying you must keep him or her.