Not Satisfied By A Trial Outcome? Three Remedies To Try
What do you do if, at the end of a court case, you aren't satisfied with the outcome? Lodging an appeal may be foremost in your mind, but it isn't the only step you can take. Here are three other possible remedies if you believe that a court ruling has not given you justice:
This is a new trial that will be handled by the same court that handled the initial trial. The judicial system allows it as a means of correcting significant errors during the trial. You can only ask for a retrial if you are the losing party, but courts rarely grant retrials. There are three main reasons a court may grant a retrial:
- New evidence – The new evidence must be significant, which means it should be the kind of evidence that could have changed the outcome of the case had you discovered it earlier. In addition, it should be something that you didn't know and could not have known during the trial.
- Legal Error – This is rare but possible. An example is if the judge admitted testimony that he or she should have excluded because it was hearsay.
- Injustice – This usually applies if you were treated unfairly or discriminated against during trial. For example, if one of the jury members turns out to have been biased against you from the start, then you may ask for a retrial.
This remedy is possible if the court agrees with your claim that the damages awarded are grossly inadequate. It is a good way of getting justice without having to go through a retrial. In fact, the judge may resort to an additur if you petition for a retrial but he or she believes that the former can serve your case best.
Consider a case in which you are permanently disabled in an accident, and your medical bills add up to $20,000 dollars. If a jury awards you $20,000 dollars for compensation, then you may petition the court for an additur. This is because they have not factored in other things such as lost wages, loss of future earnings, and pain and suffering. Federal courts (and some states) do not permit this judicial remedy.
Remittitur is the opposite of additur. This is what you request if you believe that the damages awarded to the plaintiff are grossly excessive or far exceed what the plaintiff requested. For example, you can petition for a remittitur if a plaintiff asks for $500,000 as compensation for a car accident (that you caused), but the jury grants him or her $2,000,000 (perhaps because his or her story seems traumatic). Note that your plaintiff may petition for a retrial if he or she doesn't agree with the remittitur.
For more information about seeing a case through trial and possibly beyond, contact a professional such as Irene M Rodriguez PA.