Appealing a Personal Injury Case in Georgia

Macon Appellate Lawyers Explain the Appeals Process

Photo of one of our appellate lawyers, Kathy McArthur, at her deskIn some cases, trial courts may make mistakes in the course of your personal injury lawsuit. If that happens, you may be able to appeal. An appeal is not another trial. Instead, it is a process that examines the legal errors, or perceived errors, in your case. If a Georgia appellate court holds that a lawyer, judge or jury made an error during the trial, or that a judge made an error in deciding a motion for summary judgment, the appellate court can reverse the trial court’s decision or order a new trial.

Not all personal injury attorneys handle appeals, even attorneys who regularly litigate cases or take them to court. The attorneys at the McArthur Law Firm, in addition to taking cases to court, are also appellate lawyers. This means that we can fight for you at every stage of your case, including any necessary appeals. In one medical malpractice appeal, our lawyers were able to help reverse the original judgment and obtain significant compensation for our clients.

When Can I Appeal a Personal Injury Case?

When you file a personal injury case, you and your attorney may first try to negotiate with the defendant and/or insurance company. Sometimes, you may agree to a settlement, which means you cannot appeal. However, if the defendant will not agree to a reasonable amount of compensation, your case will go to trial. There, a judge or jury will deliver a verdict either in your favor or against you. You may have the right to appeal an unfavorable outcome after a personal injury verdict.

For Georgia’s Court of Appeals to consider your appeal, you have to be able to demonstrate an incorrect legal ruling in your case. The reasons to appeal a personal injury case generally involve a legal mistake made by a judge in ruling on an evidentiary matter or errors made by a lawyer during the trial of your case. For example, if the trial judge misinterpreted the law or offered incorrect jury instructions, you may have grounds for an appeal. It is necessary to ask the advice of qualified appellate lawyers to see if you have grounds for an appeal. This must be done within thirty (30) days after a judgment is rendered, as there are strict time limits for appeals.

What Happens During the Appeals Process?

Unlike your personal injury trial, the appeals process does not include a jury or a reexamination of facts. Instead, a panel of judges will review the legal aspects of your case and decide whether to reverse or uphold the previous ruling based on Georgia law. Your attorney will submit a written appellate brief. This brief is an extremely important part of the appeals process. An appellate brief contains an explanation of exactly what errors occurred during the first case and which laws were misinterpreted or misapplied.

It is up to your appellate lawyers to write a complete, compelling brief that applies all relevant laws correctly. The defendant’s attorneys will submit their own appellate brief. There may be oral arguments by lawyers on both sides, as well. The judges presiding over your appeal may ask clarifying questions to your lawyer during oral argument. However, you or other witnesses will not have to give any further testimony. If your appeal to the Georgia Court of Appeals is unsuccessful, then you may have the option of appealing to the Georgia Supreme Court.

Need to Appeal a Personal Injury Verdict? Our Appellate Lawyers Handle Cases Nationwide

If you believe the verdict in your personal injury case was incorrect or unfounded, call our appellate lawyers today. We have years of experience in courts of appeal in Georgia. We are always ready to fight for our clients and we will not walk away from a tough appeal.

One of our personal injury attorneys can review your case and tell you if you have grounds for an appeal. Whether you live near our Georgia office, such as near Columbus, Augusta or Albany, or further away, we can help. Contact us online or call us today to schedule your free consultation.