Appealing a DC Car Accident Case
The person who wishes to initiate an appeal is required to file a notice of an appeal within the required time allotted by the court. In order to do this, it is extremely helpful to work with a DC car accident attorney by your side.
People should be aware that appeals must be predicated on a legal mistake at the trial level. Appeals are rule-specific and require a great deal of skill and knowledge in their handling so the case is not dismissed because of a technicality for failing to comply with the court’s rule.
However, it is important to keep in mind that when a person is disappointed with the outcome or has an adverse ruling against them that does not give them the right to appeal the court’s decision.
When an Appeal Is Appropriate
An appeal must be based on a theory with which it disagrees. A person cannot appeal a case because they did not get as much money as they thought they should be awarded. There must be a legal reason or legal ruling by the court the person can challenge that correlates to a greater award or a new trial.
In other words, there must be a mistake of law during the course of the trial that gives the party an opportunity to appeal the final judgment.
A person can only appeal a case once a final verdict is rendered. That means a person can only appeal the case once it is over. When the person appealing the case believes there is more than one error, each of those issues is raised within a single appeal.
It is a unique occasion when an appeal changes the amount of the verdict. The appeal either affirms the lower court’s decision or remands the case back to the trial court for a new trial or some other specific instructions based on the facts of the case. There is no guarantee that if a person appeals a case, they get more money.
Length of Appeal Process
The appeal process is quite lengthy. The court has a wide range of discretion in the amount of time it can take to come to a decision. Sometimes a decision is made soon after oral arguments. Other times, it can take up to a year or more from the time oral arguments are heard, several months after the appeal was filed, for the court to decide its position.
If the Appeal Is Lost
If the appeal is lost, the case is over in the District of Columbia. This is because there are only two courts: the trial court, also known as the DC Superior Court, and Court of Appeals in DC. The case cannot go beyond those, so if the court rules against the plaintiff at that point, the question is closed.
How An Attorney Can Help
A DC accident attorney can evaluate the facts and circumstances of the case and can advise the plaintiff about whether there are any appeals or issues.
The attorney can also advise the plaintiff about the necessary steps to secure an appeal. If all parties agree, the person hires an attorney to represent them in the appeal process which is most beneficial to the litigants.