Call Today for a Free Consultation(904) 396-1100
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers - Injury Law Firm in Jacksonville, FL

In an appeal, a party dissatisfied with a court’s decision asks a higher-level court to review that decision. For example, a plaintiff may file an appeal in a personal injury case if they feel that the settlement amount was too low, and the defendant might appeal if they think that the settlement was too high.

If you were injured in an accident in Jacksonville, FL, and had an unfavorable outcome in your personal injury lawsuit, you may want to file an appeal. 

Appeals in Florida Personal Injury Cases

Appeals in Florida Personal Injury Cases

Each court system has several appeal levels, though they differ. Most personal injury cases are filed in state court rather than federal court. 

In Florida, the amount of damages you seek will determine whether you file your case in state county or state circuit court. A county court judge can preside over a personal injury case with damages up to $50,000, and a circuit court can preside over a case with greater damages.

A Florida district court of appeals can hear an appeal from a final judgment in one of these cases. The Florida Supreme Court can hear appeals from the district courts of appeal.

Appeals to the Supreme Court of Florida

The Supreme Court of Florida has discretionary jurisdiction in personal injury cases, meaning the court can decide whether or not to hear the case. This is the final level of appeal in the Florida state courts. 

When Should You File an Appeal?

If the lower court made a mistake that impacted your settlement amount, you should consider filing an appeal. Appealable errors include an erroneous ruling during jury selection, admitting evidence that should have been excluded, or advising the jury about the law incorrectly. 

What Are the Steps to an Appeal?

There are several steps to filing and preparing a case for appeal:

Filing the Appeal

An appeal is started by filing a Notice of Appeal with the clerk of the court that issued the decision and paying the filing fee. Most appeals must be filed within 30 days. 

The Record

The clerk of the lower court will compile the record for your case. This includes your case’s documents, orders, exhibits, and transcripts. You must pay a fee to prepare the record.

Transcript of Proceedings

A court reporter or a recording device recorded your hearings and trial but did not transcribe it into an easy-to-read transcript. After filing the notice of appeal, you must request a transcript in the relevant hearing and pay for someone to prepare the transcript. 

Brief Writing

In your initial lawsuit, your case may have gone to a trial, where your attorney presented evidence and argued your case to a jury. The jury then deliberated in private and rendered a decision about your case.

In contrast, appeals courts decide the case on written briefs. Your attorney will prepare an opening brief explaining the lower court’s mistakes and why you deserve a different outcome. 

Generally, the attorney can only refer to evidence in your record and cannot present new evidence. An exception to this is if you argue that the trial court mistakenly excluded important evidence.

The opposing party can file a response brief arguing why the lower court’s decision was proper. You then have the chance to file a final reply brief. 

Oral Argument

You may also request an oral argument in your appeal. If the appeals court grants your request, your attorney can argue your case in front of the panel of appeals judges. The opposing party will also have a chance to present their case. 

At oral argument, the judges may ask questions that weren’t fully answered in the written briefs.

Is It Worth It To File an Appeal?

You have a right to file an appeal if you think the trial court erred in your case. However, an appeal takes time and costs money. You should discuss the benefits and costs of filing an appeal with your attorney.

You could significantly benefit if you win on appeal and the appeals court orders the lower court to change their decision or grant you a new trial. However, there is a chance that the appeals court will affirm the lower court’s judgment, and the outcome will not change. The decision of whether to appeal your case is yours alone. 

Do I Have To Use the Same Attorney on Appeal?

No, you don’t have to use the exact attorney on appeal you used in your initial lawsuit. They can file your appeal if you are happy with your attorney’s representation. 

However, if you think your attorney made an error, you might want to hire a new attorney to appeal your case. 

Contact an Experienced Jacksonville Personal Injury Lawyer To Discuss Your Appeal

If you want to appeal an unfavorable outcome in your personal injury lawsuit, time is of the essence to file your appeal. Contact our experienced Jacksonville personal injury lawyers at Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers at (904) 396-1100 to discuss your case.

Call Now Button