You can appeal a personal injury case just as you can appeal a criminal case. However, the laws governing the two types of cases are markedly different. Also, you are bound to lose your appeal if you don't acquaint yourself with the applicable laws first. Below are some of the things you should know about a personal injury case appeal before you talk to your personal injury attorney.
Either Party Can Appeal
It is not just the plaintiff who can appeal a personal injury ruling; either party has the right to appeal. The defendant can appeal if they will that an error was made and you were awarded a higher amount that you don't deserve or that you don't deserve any award at all. You can also appeal if you are convinced that the court made an error that prevented you from getting the award you deserve.
For example, you can appeal if a law calls for a compensation of at least $250,000, and the court awarded you $200,000 for your lost limb. The defendant can appeal if you filed your lawsuit after two years, even though the statute of limitations for your injury is two years.
An Appeal Requires an Error
An appeal requires an error; you cannot appeal a personal injury case just because you are not satisfied with the result. Say you know of someone whom the court compensated with $500,000 after a similar injury for which the court has awarded you only half of the amount. You can't use that comparison for the basis of your appeal because the awards are made on case specifics, and the specifics of your cases may be different. However, you can lodge an appeal if the judge relied on an outdated law to make their ruling.
You Only Appeal Court Rulings
A personal injury case either ends after a court ruling or when the parties involved reach a settlement. However, you cannot appeal a personal injury settlement; you only get to appeal a court ruling. Thus, if you reach an out-of-court settlement of $50,000, and sign a release form, you can't appeal the settlement if you later learned that your damages exceed the figure. At the same time, the defendant cannot appeal the amount even if they learned that they made an error during the negotiations.
Negotiations Still Continue
Lastly, you should know that the negotiations don't stop even if one of you has lodged an appeal. You can still negotiate and stop the appeal process if you reach an agreement. In fact, this is sometimes advisable so that you can avoid the expenses related to the appeal.
As you can see, appealing a personal injury case is a big decision. In fact, no lawyer will agree to take up the case unless they are convinced it has merit.