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What Happens After Winning a Personal Injury Trial?

Court of Law and Justice Trial Courtroom drama is a popular film and television genre that tells stories related to the justice system. In virtually every movie and TV show on this topic, the story wraps up immediately after the jury returns a verdict. This inaccurate depiction of legal trials suggests that the case ends the moment the jury finds the defendant innocent in guilty.

In real-life personal injury trials, the losing party has the right to appeal the decision to a higher court. The post-verdict appeals process is highly complex, expensive, and fraught with risk. Learn more about what happens after a legal trial and why it’s often best to seek a settlement in your personal injury case instead of going through the court system.

Post-Trial Motions

When a defendant loses, they may immediately attempt to undermine or completely overturn the jury verdict. This often begins with the defense attorney requesting that the court take particular actions, known as making a motion, which may include the following:

  • Motion to direct a verdict in favor of the defendant because the jury’s determination was wrong, so the judge should rule in favor of the defense
  • Motion to overturn the verdict and order a new trial because the evidence did not support the jury’s findings
  • Motion to reduce the damages awarded by the jury because the excessive amount does not represent reasonable compensation for the damages awarded in the verdict
  • Motion to overturn the verdict due to some procedural error that made the final ruling unfair

Navigating the Appeals Process

The defense attorney may make the initial motions orally immediately after the jury reads its verdict. This tells you whether you have months or potentially years of appeals ahead of you. Appellate courts have the authority to modify or even reverse the decision of a lower trial court, putting your triumph in jeopardy.

The defendant doesn’t have to pay the damages the court awarded you while the post-trial motions and appeals are pending. Payment is only required after a final judgment is made in an appellate court, and the amount might be smaller than what the original jury decided. This messy, drawn-out process could leave you waiting for years, wondering if you’ll actually receive the money you deserve.

Obtain a Settlement Whenever Possible

For the reasons explained above, most personal injury law firms recommend pursuing a settlement rather than proceeding through a jury verdict and appellate court. After all, settlements can almost never be appealed, meaning you get your money faster and with far less hassle.

If you’re seeking justice by filing a lawsuit, come to Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC for exceptional legal representation. We have over 70 years of experience as a personal injury attorney in New Jersey. Our team will help you obtain a settlement, but if that’s not successful, we’ll seek justice through the court system. Call us today at 862-263-0770 or contact us online to schedule your free, one-hour consultation. A Spanish translator is available upon request.

  • In 2022, a year in which New Jersey courts were basically closed for trials, our firm still settled almost 100 cases for in excess of 8 million dollars.
  • Discuss the firm's 2022 settlements.
  • Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
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