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Appealing a Boca Raton Car Accident Claim

In the beginning of the case process, the plaintiff files a complaint, beginning litigation process. Even at this point, the complaint can be dismissed right at its inception for failure to be procedurally proper. After this point, the case can be dismissed during the pendency of the action or during the course of litigation for various reasons.

Usually, dismissal of the complaint is much rarer after the complaint has been answered. In most cases, a complaint is filed, a defendant is served, and they either file a motion to dismiss the complaint or they file an answer.

If an individual is looking to appeal the determination of a Boca Raton car accident case, it is crucial that they contact an attorney immediately. A knowledgeable Boca Raton auto accident lawyer can best help an individual through the necessary processes of appealing a case.

Vignette view of a courtroom from the judge's bench with a gavel in the foreground

Early Dismissal of a Claim

If the defendant files an answer, an attorney immediately begins doing the discovery toward trial, filing a motion to dismiss, and the judge has to determine whether it is a valid basis to dismiss the complaint.

The judge may or may not dismiss it at that point. If they do not dismiss it at that point, the judge still has the power to dismiss it later on when receiving new information.

Between dismissal and a verdict are motions for summary judgment, which means either party can file a motion with the judge saying that, based on all the evidence and in light most favorable to the other side, an individual wants the judge to render a summary judgment in their favor. This is a legal basis where a person is legally entitled to a judgment, and the can move on through all the damages. Summary judgment is a legal procedure by which the liability can be decided.

Statue of lady justice on desk of a judge or lawyer.

Elements of an Appeal

Even though an individual may want to file an appeal after a Boca Raton car accident case, it does not mean that they can. An appeal is based on errors, mistakes, or inappropriate conduct during a trial. If a jury comes back and gives the person too much, too little, or something of similar sorts, the person cannot file an appeal just based on that.

During the course of a trial, the judge will make evidentiary decisions, which also must be questioned to determine if an individual is eligible to file for an appeal.

The decisions that the judge makes as a trial goes along could be at the subject of an appeal by the party that does not like the outcome. However, just because a jury comes back and gives an individual more or less than they thought they were worth, that in it of itself is not a basis for an appeal. An appeal is for mistakes that occur during the trial.

Determining Trial Errors

If it is deemed that mistakes were made, there is a whole procedure that goes on in which an individual moves for a new trial, the judge decides whether the new trial should be granted based on the errors brought to their attention, and if they deny the motion for new trial, then it gets taken to the appeals court.

An appeals court looks over the record of the Boca Raton car accident case and decides whether or not the errors the judge made were so egregious that it warrants a new trial.

The judgment is based on rulings and other errors, mistakes, comments, or whatever occurs during the course of the trial. It is very rarely based on what the jury does.

Woman testifying on the witness stand in court

Length of Time

After trial, an individual has one chance at an appeal. An attorney will go through the procedure of filing a motion of trial, or another similar procedure that an individual must go through to pitch their case for an appeal. A lawyer will file with the appeals court and must bring forward all of the issues at once.

An appeal generally takes about a year for an appeals court to get the record, hear arguments, and make the decision.

Failure to bring an issue on a person’s appeal waives it, so an individual has only one chance at the appeal. The appeals court will determine if the ruling that occurred will stand, or if a second trial will be necessary.

If a person is granted a new trial, and if they wish to appeal that, then they must start a new appeal. If there was an error during trial, or another valid basis for an appeal, then the individual has the right to appeal that second trial.

Losing an Appeal

If an individual appealed and the appeals court upheld the original verdict, then there is nothing further that the individual can do. If the defendant did not like the outcome of the case, there was a large verdict against them, and the appeals court states that there is no basis for the appeal, then they are going to pay.

However, if the appeals court says that they have to reinstate, then the claim is sent back and retried according to the guidelines set by the appeals court.

Two people shaking hands over legal documents and a gavel

Role of an Attorney

Typically, most trial attorneys are not appellate lawyers. Appellate lawyers specialize in appeals. If an appeal takes place, then the individual’s lawyer will hire a separate appellant council for that portion of the case and they will take the appeal up.

There is an additional fee on the appeal. The appellant lawyer is also on a contingency fee, so they are getting a small percentage of the total recovery for their work. This process could take up to one year, and no amount of success or recovery is guaranteed.

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