Personal injury cases provide victims who are hurt by the negligent or careless acts of others with the opportunity to pursue economic compensation for damages caused by their accident and injuries, including medical expenses, lost work income, and pain and suffering, among others. In some cases, a personal injury case may not end as victims would have hoped. While there may be the option to appeal a case, whether or not you have this option, and whether or not it is feasible or wise to appeal, will depend greatly on the unique facts of your case.
At The Daspit Law Firm, our Houston personal injury lawyers understand the importance of helping clients pursue the best possible resolution. We know, however, that not all cases are handled properly by some law firms, and that certain issues can lead to resolutions that victims may not be satisfied with. To help you better understand if you can file an appeal, you must first consider whether you case was resolved through a settlement or through trial.
- Settlements – Most personal injury cases are resolved through a settlement before the trial phase. These settlements are made through out-of-court negotiations between the at-fault party (or their insurance provider / representative) and an injured victims (or their personal injury attorney). Once a settlement is reached, a case is concluded, and there are typically terms that prevent a person from appealing their case because all terms were negotiated as part of the settlement. Victims are usually not be able to appeal a settlement. This is why it is important to work with attorneys who are proven negotiators and who have the insight to understand the best options for your case and when it is an appropriate time to settle.
- Trial – When insurance companies do not offer fair settlements to victims, or dispute fault and liability, a personal injury case may proceed to trial, or litigation. When a case goes to trial it will be resolved through a verdict or judgment reached by a jury or a judge. Victims have the option to appeal a decision reached in their trial.
If you were an injured victim and wish to appeal a verdict or judgment, you have the right to do so. Victims may file appeals after a defendant is found to be not liable for their damages or if they receive less than they believe they deserve, but they must demonstrate a valid reason for doing so. If a victim is unable to show a reversible error or mistakes concerning important facts of a case that had an impact on the outcome, it is unlikely that their appeal will hold much weight. In some cases, victims may also have the option to file a post-judgment motion for a new trial.
It is critical to consider if you have valid basis to file an appeal, as doing so can be costly and time-consuming if it is dismissed. You can consult with your original attorney or have your case reviewed by a lawyer from another firm to better understand the legitimacy of your case and if an appeal is in your best interests.
Ultimately, victims who do choose to appeal must initiate the appellate process. Appeals are not automatic. It is important to remember that appealing a case can be a long, frustrating, and time-consuming process that could take years. If an appeal is successful, victims may have the original decision reversed or have their case sent back for further proceedings. If unsuccessful, an appellate court will affirm the original decision.
Appeals are not an easy endeavor, which is why selecting the right attorney early on in your case is such an important part of the personal injury process. You want to choose an attorney with the experience and resources to handle your case as it should be handled. This includes handling all legal work and investigations, communicating and negotiating with insurers, preparing for trial if necessary, and providing the counsel and insight you need to make informed decisions about securing the best possible resolution in your unique case.
At The Daspit Law Firm, our legal team thoroughly reviews cases to determine the merits of victims’ cases and dedicates the time and effort needed to effectively advocate for clients and produce the best possible results. We encourage injured victims and their loved ones to choose wisely during the attorney selection process by evaluating a firm’s record of success, reputation, and experience. To help local residents as they choose an attorney, we offer free and confidential consultations during which we speak openly with clients about their rights and what we can do to help.To speak with a member of our legal team, contact us today.