Seeking compensation from another driver or that person’s insurer after a car accident can be a time-consuming and sometimes frustrating process even if you prevail at trial. And not every plaintiff is successful in the courtroom. If you have gone through the process of seeking recompense for your personal injury and property loss as the result of a collision with another driver, and the matter not only did not settle before trial but the jury’s decision went against you, you will need to decide whether to appeal that decision to a Connecticut appellate court.
When contemplating an appeal, the first question you must be able to answer is whether the trial court committed a “prejudicial error”. What this means is that not only did the court make a mistake during the proceeding, but also that the error caused you harm (“harmless errors” are not good grounds upon which to base an appeal). A good way to think of an error as prejudicial is to ask whether, had the court not made the mistake in question, you would have prevailed in the trial.
Another key consideration in the decision to appeal is whether your attorney preserved the issue for appeal. What this means is that at the time the court committed the error in question, did your attorney properly object to it? Failing to object to a trial court error can preclude the ability to appeal it later on.
If you and your attorney believe that the court has made a prejudicial error against you, and your attorney has preserved the question for appeal, then you will need to decide fairly quickly after the court’s final decision whether to file an appeal. You will usually have 20 days from the date of the court’s decision to file.
The decision whether to appeal a trial court decision often involves several considerations, not all of which can be covered in this post. What you read here is only an introduction to the subject, and should not be taken as any kind of legal advice. If you have questions about civil appeals arising in connection with a car accident lawsuit, a law firm licensed in this state can help you to gain the answers that you seek.