Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Appeals

Taking a case to trial is a toss of the dice. Even a case that is seemingly ironclad may not resonate with a jury. This can result in some plaintiffs who have suffered serious injuries at the hand of negligent nursing homes being left without any compensation.

Fortunately, Virginia law allows plaintiffs to file appeals following an unfavorable trial verdict. However, this is a complicated process that requires a plaintiff to not only provide a legal basis for their appeal but may also require them to post a bond to pursue the claim.

Depending upon which court heard the initial case, a plaintiff may need to file their appeal with a Circuit Court or with the Supreme Court of Virginia. In either instance, an attorney who handles Virginia nursing home abuse appeals may be able to help.

Grounds for Filing an Appeal

All civil cases that end with a jury’s verdict or a judge’s award carry the right to appeal the case. This is in contrast to some other cases where a party may have the right to appeal. According to Code of Virginia §16.1-106, this right attaches anytime the dollar value of the case is greater than $20. This certainly applies to all nursing home abuse cases.

However, even though a plaintiff always has the right to appeal, they must identify a mistake of law made in the case that harmed their chances in court. In other words, a plaintiff cannot file an appeal simply because they did not like how the jury decided the case. Mistakes of law that can often lead to valid appeal claims include:

  • The improper admission of evidence to the case
  • A juror was improperly impaneled by the judge
  • The judge made an improper ruling concerning how the trial was conducted

An attorney could help clients to properly identify a mistake of law that could lead to a successful appeal.

Filing and Pursuing an Appeal in Court

The place where a plaintiff must file an appeal depends upon which court heard the initial case. Some nursing home abuse cases are heard by a General District Court. If a plaintiff believes a mistake of law was made by a judge in this court, they must file an appeal with the Circuit Court. If the Circuit Court was the court that heard the previous case, the plaintiff must ask the Supreme Court of Virginia to hear the case.

The process begins with the plaintiff filing a notice of appeal form within 30 days of the judgement at the court that heard the case. A similar petition must be filed with the Supreme Court. Following this filing, a plaintiff or their attorney must appear before the Supreme Court to argue as to why the court should hear the entire case. If the Court accepts the case, both parties will author legal briefs outlining their legal arguments and present their case to the entire court.

A successful appeal may result in a plaintiff being granted a new trial. This typically is accompanied by an order requiring the trial judge to make a change in a ruling. The appeals court cannot order the payment of funds, but at least a new trial can give an injured individual a fresh chance at collecting compensation.

A Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Appeals Could Give You a Fresh Start

A dismissed claim following a jury or judge verdict does not mean that a plaintiff cannot continue to pursue their case. All parties maintain the right to file an appeal. However, they must be able to identify a mistake of law made by a judge in order to have a valid argument.

An attorney could help clients to identify these mistakes of law, to file an appeal with the correct court, and to perform the necessary legal research and arguments to give you the best chance of success. The time to file an appeal is very short so don’t delay; contact a Virginia nursing home abuse appeals lawyer today to get started.