What Happens if the Defendant Appeals the Verdict After You Win a Settlement?

by Staff | February 1st, 2021

Although most personal injury claims settle out of court, some don’t. When insurance companies and their clients refuse to pay the money that claimants are owed, they may be taken to court. Although many law firms will accept “lowball” settlements to avoid this, we fight hard to ensure our clients get the best possible chance of winning full compensation, and that includes going to trial if necessary.

But because personal injury lawsuits are tried in civil court, both plaintiffs and defendants have the opportunity to appeal the jury’s decision. That means that even if you win your lawsuit, you may not get the money right away, as the defendant, their legal team, and the insurance company may all agree that appealing the verdict is the right choice.

Why Do Defendants Appeal Verdicts in Personal Injury Cases?

The most common reason that defendants appeal verdicts is simply because they lost and don’t want to pay the money the courts tell them they owe the plaintiffs. However, defendants who received unfavorable verdicts can’t automatically appeal them. Instead, they must have an appealable issue, which can be:

  • The introduction of new evidence
  • A procedural defect or error during the trial
  • The awarded amount is considered “excessive”

Typically, decisions are appealed immediately after they’re delivered in court. That means that you’ll know soon after the verdict is delivered whether the defendant plans to appeal the court’s decision. Defendants also may appeal personal injury verdicts because it means they don’t have to pay any compensation until the appeal process finalizes, which can take months or even years in some cases.

3 Things to Know About Personal Injury Claim Appeals

Appeals are complicated legal matters. We do everything in our power to ensure they don’t happen by making our clients’ claims as strong and irrefutable as possible. But if your verdict is ever appealed, here are a few things to know about what will take place:

  1. The case will be heard by an appellate court. This court sits above trial court, and it has the power to modify or reverse decisions made there.
  2. The appellate court will review the facts the same way the trial court did, and even if the same decision is reached, the amount of awarded compensation may change.
  3. Some personal injury case appeals can be tried in federal court, especially if the plaintiffs and defendants live in different states.

Appeals Are Expensive and Rare in Most Personal Injury Claims

Thankfully, most personal injury victims don’t have to worry about going to court, let alone having the court’s decision appealed. That’s because insurance companies know when they can’t win, and instead of dragging the process out, they’ll negotiate a settlement.

However, insurance companies and individual defendants DO fight personal injury claims occasionally, especially high-value cases. But even these are rarely appealed. That’s because appealing a civil court decision is extremely expensive and time-consuming. When defendants don’t have the time, money, or resources to prepare a sound legal defense, it’s typically not worth it to appeal the decision.

We’ve Got Your Back Every Step of the Way

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, our Indiana personal injury lawyers believe in ensuring our clients get all the information they need when they decide to file compensation claims, and explaining the possibility of an appeal is part of that goal. However, we also want you to know that should your verdict be appealed, you can count on our legal team to provide you with high-quality legal representation that’s built to win you the money you’re owed.

Don’t be dissuaded from filing a claim if you were hurt—most claims settle long before they go to court, and most court decisions aren’t appealed due to cost. And remember, no matter what happens, you’ve got our experienced and dedicated lawyers on your side. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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