Expanded Jurisdiction for Court of Appeals is a Game-Changer for Personal Injury Plaintiffs

delay-ct-of-appeals-300x251Plaintiffs who prevail in personal injury cases in Virginia now face another possible hurdle: delayed resolution due to the defendant’s new ability to appeal to the Court of Appeals.

A new law expands the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals to include personal injury cases. Prior to the new law, litigants who lost in the Circuit Court (which hears jury trials) could only challenge the verdict by appealing to the Virginia Supreme Court.  In all personal injury, products liability, and medical malpractice cases, the losing party had to first ask the Virginia Supreme Court for permission to appeal. Permission – or a writ — was rarely granted.

Now, the result of any case may be appealed to the Court of Appeals. What does that mean for personal injury plaintiffs?

In a word: delay. It is already a long process from when you are injured until your case is heard in court. Sometimes, the defense uses legal maneuvers to extend the timeline even further. So now, when the plaintiff wins, the defense will automatically be able to appeal – which means delay.

Because this change brings with it the potential for long post-trial litigation, it is even more important that you choose not just a good lawyer, but an experienced lawyer and, an effective trial lawyer. Defense attorneys are less likely to appeal a case that has been expertly prepared and tried by a reputable, highly experienced attorney. Read through the case results for Frei, Mims & Perushek, and you’ll see that our lawyers have tried and won or successfully settled hundreds of personal injury cases.  That’s the experience you need on your side.

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