An appeal is a challenge to a previous legal decision. It involves directing the legal matter to a higher court with the power to review the decision and change the outcome.
When you file a personal injury lawsuit in Miami, your case is heard by a jury. The jurors consider the evidence presented in court and decide whether the defendant (at-fault party) is responsible for causing harm to the plaintiff (injured party). If so, the jury determines how much to award the plaintiff for damages.
What does appeal mean in a personal injury case? The plaintiff or the defendant can appeal the jury’s decision if they disagree with the outcome of the case. However, appealing a personal injury judgment does not necessarily mean you will receive a different outcome.
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Common Reasons for Appealing Personal Injury Cases in Florida
An appeal challenges issues of law in your personal injury case. Common reasons for filing an appeal in a personal injury case include, but are not limited to:
- The judge erred in deciding whether to allow or disallow testimony by an expert witness.
- The judge applied the incorrect law to the case.
- The jury received instructions from the judge about laws that do not apply in your case, or the judge failed to provide instructions for the laws that apply in your case.
- The judge suppressed evidence or testimony that should have been allowed in your case.
- There was jury misconduct, such as a juror failing to discuss a connection to one of the parties in the case. Another example of juror misconduct would be discussing the case before being instructed to do so.
- There was insufficient evidence to justify the jury’s verdict.
- The personal injury verdict was against the law.
A Miami personal injury lawyer can review your case to determine whether an issue of law exists that would justify an appeal. However, you must act quickly because the time to appeal a personal injury verdict is very short.
How To Appeal a Personal Injury Verdict in Miami, FL
The Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure govern appeals of personal injury cases. You have 30 days from the initial verdict in your personal injury case to file an appeal.
The notice of appeal is filed with the court that heard the case. The court clerk prepares the trial record for appeal, including all documents filed with the trial court and the trial transcript.
Your attorney files an initial brief explaining the reason for the appeal. The opposing party files their brief arguing for the judgment to remain the same. Your attorney might file a reply brief to refute those arguments.
In many appeals, the court decides the appeal based on written documents alone without oral argument by the lawyers. However, your attorney can request oral arguments if they believe that would help with the appeal.
Appeals of personal injury cases in Miami are heard by the Third District Court of Appeal. The appellate court can uphold the judgment, meaning that the court agrees with the lower court and nothing changes.
If the appellate court denies your appeal, you have a few options. Your attorney could file a motion for rehearing. You would need to make a compelling argument why the appellate court made a significant mistake in denying your appeal.
You could also ask for a rehearing en banc, meaning all of the appellate judges hear your appeal instead of a three-judge panel. If the court of appeals did not issue a written order, you can also ask for a written opinion.
There could be additional options depending on the facts of your case. An experienced Miami personal injury attorney will review all options with you and explain why or why not specific options are viable.
Why Should I File an Appeal in a Personal Injury Case?
If you believe that there was a mistake or error that caused you to receive an unfair outcome in your personal injury lawsuit, you should discuss an appeal with your Miami personal injury lawyer. An appeal allows a different judge to review the legal decisions in the case to ensure the trial judge did not make an error in judgment.
Typically, appeals do not re-examine issues of fact that the jurors make based on the evidence presented during the trial. In other words, being angry because the jury decided against you is usually not sufficient reason to appeal a personal injury judgment.
If the appeal results in a new trial, the outcome could be different. However, before appealing the decision in a personal injury case, you must consider the cost and time involved in the process.
There should be sufficient grounds for the appeal. Otherwise, appealing the jury’s decision might not be worth the cost of an appeal.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Miami Personal Injury Lawyers
At Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers, our legal team works diligently to settle your personal injury claim as quickly as possible for the maximum compensation available. However, we do not rush cases to obtain quick settlements. Our goal is to maximize the amount you receive for your case.