If you file a personal injury lawsuit and take your case to court, a jury decides whether you proved your case by a preponderance of the evidence. The jury decides if the other party caused your injuries, if you sustained damages, and how much the damages are worth. The verdict is the outcome of the trial.
Either party can file an appeal to challenge the verdict. However, filing an appeal does not guarantee that the jury’s verdict will change. Appeals can only challenge issues of law. Therefore, being unhappy with a jury’s verdict in your personal injury case might not be sufficient reason to file an appeal.
Common reasons for an appeal include, but are not limited to:
- The court’s decision to allow or deny testimony from an expert witness was incorrect.
- There was jury misconduct, such as a juror discussing the case with someone not on the jury or the juror concealing they had a relationship with one of the parties in the case.
- The judge suppressed evidence that should have been allowed to be presented in court.
- The jury received instructions from the judge about laws that did not apply in your case or did not receive the correct jury instructions.
- The verdict was against the law, or there was insufficient evidence to justify the jury’s verdict.
Your Houston personal injury attorney reviews the legal issues involved in your case to determine whether there are grounds for an appeal. If the judge made an error or other issues resulted in an unlawful verdict, a higher court could reverse the decision or remand the case for a new trial.
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Where Are Personal Injury Cases Filed in Houston, Texas?
Personal injury lawsuits are civil cases. Most personal injury cases filed in Texas are filed in district court. If you live in Houston, your personal injury case will likely be filed with the Harris County District Court.
However, a personal injury case might be filed in more than one court. Typically, the injured party (the plaintiff) can file the personal injury lawsuit with a district court in one of three jurisdictions:
- The district court that has jurisdiction over the location where the accident or personal injury took place.
- The district court that has jurisdiction over whether the plaintiff lives. The plaintiff is the injured party who files the case.
- The district court that has jurisdiction over where the defendant lives or conducts business. The defendant is the alleged at-fault party.
Jurisdiction is the authority of a court to hear and decide cases and issues. There could be one or more reasons why a Houston personal injury lawyer chooses a specific jurisdiction for a personal injury lawsuit.
How Do You File an Appeal of a Personal Injury Trial in Texas?
All appeals of district court verdicts must be filed within 30 days of the jury’s decision and meet the requirements of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure. The appellant (the person appealing the court decision) files a Notice of Appeal. The other party is known as the appellee.
The appellant has 30 days to submit a brief to the court and other parties. After that, the appellee can file a response brief with the court. The appellant court considers the court records and the briefs filed by the parties.
In some cases, the court might allow oral arguments. During oral arguments, the attorneys have a specific amount of time to present arguments for or against the appeal.
It is important to remember that appeals are not new trials for a personal injury case. The appellate court does not decide issues related to the facts of the case. Instead, the appellate court reviews the case to determine if an error of law occurred during the trial.
Will My Texas Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?
Most personal injury cases do not go to trial. Instead, they are settled through negotiations between the injured party and the at-fault party or the insurance company for the at-fault party. Even if the injured party files a lawsuit, the case might settle after the parties complete discovery and before it goes to trial.
Reasons cases go to trial include, but are not limited to:
- The at-fault party or insurance company disputes liability for the claim.
- The at-fault party disputes the types of damages or the value of the damages claimed by the injured party.
- The at-fault party’s insurance company does not want to set a precedent for settling the type of case at issue.
- The insurance company or at-fault party believes insufficient evidence exists to prove the case.
- The insurance company alleges that the injured party is partially to blame for the cause of the accident or injury (contributory fault).
There are many reasons why a personal injury case could go to trial. An experienced Houston personal injury lawyer evaluates the evidence in the case to determine the likelihood of winning the case in court. If weaknesses could result in a ruling for the other party or the damages in the case are insufficient to warrant the cost and time of a trial, the attorney might advise that the best option is to settle the case.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Houston Personal Injury Lawyers
Were you injured in an accident or other incident? If so, you could be entitled to substantial compensation for your damages. Contact our law firm or give us a call at (713) 500-5000 to schedule a free case evaluation with a Houston personal injury attorney from Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers.