The final judgment or verdict in a car accident case is not necessarily the final word in the matter. Under the right circumstances, a West Virginia car accident lawyer can help you fight to overturn an unfavorable outcome by appealing a car accident case in West Virginia. At The Law Office of M. Andrew Brison, PLLC, we can help you understand the appeal process in car accident cases and navigate that process.
Obstacles to Appealing a Car Accident Case in West Virginia
In a car accident case, you’re not just fighting the other driver for compensation. In most cases, an insurance company is actively working to prevent paying for your injuries. Insurers pour significant resources into each personal injury defense to avoid paying under their clients’ policies.
Just as insurance company lawyers do what it takes to reduce or deny compensation to victims, an experienced West Virginia car accident lawyer does what it takes to seek maximum compensation in these matters. And when the judgment or verdict was not what you had hoped it would be, an experienced personal injury attorney like M. Andrew Brison can help you determine whether appealing a car accident case in West Virginia is an option and how to pursue it.
Why Do Lawyers Appeal Cases?
Appealing a case to a higher court is not available merely because a litigant had hoped for a different outcome. Instead, appeals must be based on legal errors, meaning errors in procedure or how the law was applied. For example, common appealable mistakes in car wreck trials include allowing improper testimony at trial, disallowing proper testimony, or allowing improper arguments to the jury.
Juror misconduct can also be a basis for appealing a car accident case in West Virginia. Unauthorized investigation is a good illustration. Jurors are not permitted to Google parties or lawyers to learn more about the case. Nor may they pull up news stories so they can learn more about the facts. Jurors don’t mean to do any harm in these instances, but these acts are not allowed and could alter the outcome.
Trial irregularities can also happen outside the courtroom. Examples include a party withholding information during discovery or refusing to negotiate in good faith during mediation.
The mere existence of one error like these is usually not enough to overturn a verdict on appeal. Instead, a West Virginia car accident appeal lawyer must also show that the mistake was so bad that it affected the outcome of the trial.
What Are the Benefits of Appealing Your Car Accident Case?
If you have grounds for appealing a car accident case judgment or verdict, a successful appeal could result in a new trial. Even without pursuing an appeal to complete, just taking steps toward an appeal may give you leverage to improve the outcome in your car accident case. Often, filing an appeal—or simply advising the defendant’s attorney that an appeal will be filed—may bring the insurance company back to the negotiating table.
Negotiations with the insurance company wishing to avoid an appeal could result in increased compensation, called damages, for the victim’s serious injuries. Damages may include money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
What Deadlines Apply to a Car Accident Appeal in West Virginia?
According to Rule 73 of the West Virginia Rules of Appellate Procedure, the person appealing a judgment or verdict (the appellant) must file a notice of appeal within 30 days of the trial court’s judgment. In most cases, the appellant then has 90 days to “perfect” the appeal (do everything required to proceed with the case) by filing an extensive brief. This brief must highlight trial errors by showing pinpoint citations in the trial record and court file to support your argument that these errors affected the trial’s outcome.
At roughly the same time, the appeals court issues a scheduling order. This order contains deadlines for a variety of matters related to the appeal, such as the time for filing a response and reply brief, ordering a trial transcript, and filing procedural motions. The court may also set the matter for oral argument.
If the appeal succeeds, the appellate court usually orders a new trial. Depending on the error argued on appeal, the court may also include instructions for the retrial, such as detailing what evidence is admissible or inadmissible.
Call WV Car Accident Appeal Lawyer M. Andrew Brison
A car accident appeal could be the key that unlocks fair compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer about appealing a car accident case in West Virginia, contact The Law Office of M. Andrew Brison, PLLC by going online or calling 304-397-8225. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.