Not every automobile injury lawsuit initially succeeds in court. But if at first your case doesn’t succeed, there are ways to try again. For example, you may file a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, a motion for a new trial, and an appeal. (Note that all of these options are available and you don’t have to choose just one.)
Filing a Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict
A motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict essentially asks the court to disregard the verdict reached by the jury and issue a different judgment. The losing party argues that no reasonable jury could have reached that verdict, and that the court should rule for it instead.
Here are a few things you should know before filing this motion:
- You only have seven days (not including legal holidays) after the clerk mails the notice of judgment, or the sheriff serves notice, to file the motion.
- You may join this motion with a motion for a new trial.
- The court may allow the judgment to stand, order a new trial, or render a judgment notwithstanding the verdict.
- The party whose verdict has been set aside can file a motion for a new trial, but must do so within seven days.
- The court may render a judgment notwithstanding the verdict on the issue of liability, damages or both.
Note that a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict is not a prerequisite to filing an appeal.
Filing a Motion for a New Trial
A court may grant a new trial based on a party’s motion or on its own motion (this means that the court can decide that a new trial is warranted even if no party requests one). A party requesting a new trial only has seven days after the judgment is signed (not including legal holidays) to file the motion.
Note that you don’t have to file a motion for a new trial to preserve your right to file an appeal.
Filing an Appeal
Here are a few procedural things you should know about appealing an adverse automobile injury judgment:
- If you don’t file a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict or for a new trial, then you have 60 days after that deadline for filing those motions passes to file a devolutive appeal.
- If you did file one of those motions and the court rejects the request, then you have 60 days from when notice of that rejection is mailed to file a devolutive appeal.
- While you don’t have to file a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict or for a new trial in order to file an appeal, the court won’t order an appeal until ruling on those motions (if filed).
An experienced attorney can walk you through the appeals process and make sure you meet all statutory deadlines.
Contact Us Today
Contact Patrick Yancey Law Firm today for a free consultation if you have been injured in a car accident. Our experienced attorneys will help you recover compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other relevant damages. That might involve appealing an adverse judgment or pursuing other post-judgment options like filing a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict.