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Title: Can I appeal?

Date: 01 December 2014

MCN Law - Can I appeal decision of county court?

Question

This relates to a low-level accident, but I would be interested in some advice on whether I would be able to appeal a court decision at civil level. Basically it involved a scooter versus pedal cycle accident where the pedal cyclist turned in front of the scooter without warning. The case went to court and the evidence appeared to go very much in favour of the scooter rider which was me. However, despite my barrister thinking we had won the case the judge's decision was fully in favour of the pedal cyclist! I believe that the judge misquoted evidence that I had given. It is quite an interesting story, if not the most serious of incidents. If you are unable to assist could you please point me in the right direction, as I think it unlikely my current insurance company would wish to fund an appeal, despite being quite good up to now.

Anonymous, by e-mail

Answer

There is a time limit to lodge the appeal of 21 days from the decision of the court. To succeed you will need to show that the judge was plain wrong in law or fact (and this had a bearing or the result) or erred seriously in his judgment – in other words no reasonable judge would have found as he did. The most sensible approach would be for your barrister to write a short Opinion on the prospects of a successful appeal and ask your legal expenses insurer to fund it. They may not due to proportionality (costs versus benefit to be derived) if the case is only of modest value. If the insurer does not agree to fund it then your other option is to pay privately. Again you may feel proportionality will rule this option out. I can easily imagine that an appeal could cost you say £10,000 in legal fees although the precise amount will depend on the amount of time spent as in a case like this lawyers would charge at an hourly rate rather than work on a fixed fee basis.

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