Can You Appeal If the Defendant Is Found Not Liable in a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

Can You Appeal If the Defendant Is Found Not Liable in a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

Birth injury lawsuits are an emotionally charged legal realm, so when a case concludes with a "not liable" verdict for the defendant, it sparks a natural question: can the aggrieved family still appeal? There is no simple answer to this question. Read on to learn more about the generalities, and be sure to contact a birth injury attorney for specific help in your case.

The Right to Appeal and Grounds for Challenge

In the American legal system, the right to appeal a judicial decision is fundamental and applies to both civil and criminal cases, ensuring a system of checks and balances on potentially erroneous verdicts. However, this right is not absolute.

In civil cases, like birth injury lawsuits, you can only appeal on specific grounds. In most cases, appeals are only possible if there were legal errors committed during the trial that demonstrably impacted the outcome. These can include:

Faulty Jury Instructions

Did the judge provide the jury with inaccurate or incomplete instructions regarding relevant legal principles or how to evaluate evidence? If so, your lawyer may advise an appeal.

Evidentiary Errors

Was crucial evidence improperly admitted or excluded, potentially swaying the jury's decision? This is another legitimate grounds for appeal.

Judicial Misconduct

Did the judge exhibit bias or interfere with the proceedings in a way that prejudiced the jury or denied the plaintiff a fair trial? If your lawyer suspects this was the case, they may suggest that you appeal.

Procedural Errors

Were there significant deviations from established legal procedures that undermined the integrity of the trial? While there shouldn't have been, it happens more often than you might think and is grounds for an appeal.

Unfortunately, simply disagreeing with the jury's verdict or wishing for a different outcome is not enough to warrant an appeal. You must be able to demonstrably prove that flawed legal processes affected the final decision.

Weighing the Cost of an Appeal

Birth injury lawsuits are already emotionally taxing. They necessitate reliving the trauma of the birth, confronting medical complexities, and dealing with healthcare professionals trying to cover themselves while leaving you out to dry. An appeal adds a whole other layer of emotional upheaval, and it can both prolong the legal process and reopen wounds that may have started to heal.

Families considering an appeal must grapple with the emotional toll on themselves and their child. In addition, the financial burden of pursuing an appeal can also be significant, requiring additional legal fees and potentially delaying your access to critical resources for your child's care. Furthermore, there's no guarantee of success, and a failed appeal could result in nothing more than additional costs and a deeper sense of disappointment.

An appeal is something you must take seriously. Always listen to the advice of a qualified birth injury attorney before you make any decision. Check out this site to connect with an experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorney.

Evaluating the Viability of an Appeal

Before embarking on an appeal, your attorney will walk you through a thorough evaluation of its viability. Factors to consider include:

  • Strength of the grounds: Are the claimed legal errors truly substantial and demonstrably harmful to your case?

  • Record on appeal: Can the claimed errors be supported by a clear and compelling record of the trial proceedings?

  • Legal precedents: Have recent court decisions established precedents that might strengthen or weaken the appeal's grounds?

  • Cost-benefit analysis: Weighing the emotional and financial costs of the appeal against the potential benefits of a reversal or revised verdict, is it worth it?

An experienced legal team can consider every one of these complexities and provide families with an objective assessment of whether pursuing an appeal aligns with their best interests.

Alternative Paths to Pursuing Justice

While an appeal may be the option that first comes to mind after losing a case, it's not the only avenue for seeking justice. Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, alternative paths may be worth exploring. Even after a verdict, negotiations with the defendant may still be possible, potentially leading to a mutually agreeable settlement that provides at least some financial support for your child's care.

You might also consider exploring alternative legal claims that were not addressed in the initial lawsuit, such as those against other healthcare providers or manufacturers of medical equipment.

Sharing your family's story and working with advocacy groups to push for legislative changes that improve patient safety and birth care standards can also bring closure and a sense of justice and satisfaction, even in the absence of a legal decision in your favor.

Contact a Birth Injury Attorney for More

While the right to appeal exists, carefully weighing the legal viability, emotional toll, and financial implications is crucial. Ultimately, the decision to appeal must be made in a deliberate and informed manner, prioritizing the long-term well-being of your child and the emotional resilience of your family. Talk to an experienced lawyer to make the right decision for your family.

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