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Do you know the difference between a trial and an appeal?

Anyone could suffer serious injuries as a result of a car accident, slip-and-fall incident, dog bite or other event. Though you may have hoped to never find yourself in an injury-causing situation, you may recently have realized that you cannot avoid such scenarios altogether after suffering serious injuries yourself. If another person caused your injuries, you may also realize that you find considering legal action to be a good idea.

Numerous steps and processes go into a personal injury claim. You may file your claim and settle before going to court, or your case may end up going to trial or possibly as far as going to appeal, if necessary. If you do not have much legal knowledge, you may wonder what differences exist between a trial and an appeal.

Trial

When it comes to a trial, you and your legal counsel can present evidence as to why you feel you deserve the compensation you seek, and the defendant can present his or her case as to why liability for your injuries should not fall to him or her. These presentations can involve the use of witness testimonies and evidence such as pictures, medical records, accident reports and other related documentation.

Additionally, a trial utilizes a jury to hear the presentations, review the evidence and come to conclusions regarding what they believed took place based on the evidence. The single judge involved in the trial utilizes both the evidence and the law to also draw conclusions about the incident and whether compensation or other actions may prove warranted.

Appeal

You may fall among the many individuals who believe that an appeal means that another trial takes place. However, that is not necessarily the case. If your trial does not have the outcome you desire, you may have the ability to file an appeal that results in a review of the original trial. A jury does not participate in the appeal, and prosecutors do not present new evidence or witness statements. Rather, judges review the evidence and check for possible problems, including:

  • Legal mistakes made in the trial court, AND
  • Whether these mistakes may have impacted/changed the final decision/judgment.

Handling your case

Because legal proceedings of any type can prove confusing, you may want to find out more information on personal injury claims and the best avenues for your circumstances when it comes to pursuing compensation.

If you begin to feel overwhelmed with the idea of claims, trials and appeals, you may wish to consider seeking professional assistance. An experienced Orange County attorney could help you better understand what to expect from the process and how to most effectively move your case forward.

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