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Can a Car Insurance Company Appeal an Award of Compensation to a Crash Victim?

appeal written on wooden blocks on tableThe insurance company is probably not going to be happy about a jury awarding compensation to a crash victim. While every case is different, sometimes juries award full compensation to the victim. This may mean a settlement for the insurance policy limit, or potentially more than the insurance policy limit.

It is important to note the insurance company has the option to appeal the jury verdict, which could delay your receipt of compensation. Below, our experienced Harrisburg-based auto accident lawyers review what may happen if an insurance company appeals a jury’s award of compensation. We also discuss possible reasons why the insurance company may file an appeal.

If you were injured in a car crash caused by another driver, we may be able to assist you with every step of the legal process. We have obtained more than $100 million on behalf of our clients over more than three decades, this includes cases we have settled and cases we have won in court.

Appealing a Jury Verdict in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, ether party to a lawsuit can appeal a verdict within 30 days of it being rendered. The appeal must be based on the legality of the verdict. In other words, you cannot present new evidence or use a different legal approach. An appeal is not a reconsideration of your case.

For example, the insurance company may argue some part of the verdict breaks the law. Maybe the insurance company will argue the verdict has unconscionable terms. The insurance company may say the jury disregarded its instructions or that the jury did not consider some important piece of evidence. For example, maybe an expert did not testify.

Usually, personal injury cases are appealed to the Superior Court. If an agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a party to the lawsuit, or if the case involves an interpretation of a statute, it must be appealed to the Commonwealth Court.

However, if the appeal is lost, this decision cannot be appealed to the Supreme Court. The party must file a Petition for Allowance of Appeal and the Supreme Court can consider whether to allow it.

The court that appeals a verdict is going to rely on the lower court’s ruling. Their position is the lower court is in the best position to decide on the case. The higher court is often considering whether there was an abuse of discretion. They are looking for a mistake and trying to determine if it made a difference in the outcome of the case.

What Could be the Result of an Appeal?

The result of the appeal often depends on what the appeal request asks the court to do. Sometimes, if an appeal is successful, the jury’s entire verdict may be vacated. This may pave the way for the case to be sent back for a new trial. Sometimes the appeal only asks for a modified award of compensation.

How Long Could It Take to Resolve an Appeal?

Sometimes an appeal is resolved very quickly, such as if it is dismissed by an order. The appeal could be quashed in a matter of weeks or months.

However, if the appeal is not disposed of quickly, it could take more than a year from the time a notice of appeal is filed to the entry of a final order. That would mean it would take another year for your case to conclude, that is unless the insurance company tries to appeal it further.

Even if an appeal is unsuccessful, it is likely to delay the award of compensation. Given the possibility of a prolonged court battle, particularly for claims in which the victim suffered a severe or life-altering injury, it is vital to have an experienced attorney working on your claim.

The award-winning attorneys at Schmidt Kramer have the resources and legal knowledge to manage every aspect of your claim. Unlike some firms, we are prepared to go to court, as our goal is to recover all the compensation you need for your damages, including ongoing damages. An experienced attorney can also give you a better idea about the likelihood of success of an appeal. This is only an assessment however, as each case is unique.

Schmidt Kramer is Available to Help Crash Victims. Call to Learn More

For more than 30 years, we have been helping crash victims and victims of other types of accidents. We take cases on contingency, so there are no upfront fees. That means there is no financial risk to you in working with our firm.

Call today to set up your free legal consultation. We can determine if we may be able to assist you and answer your questions.

Contact Schmidt Kramer. We have recovered millions. Call (717) 727-1837.