Can I Appeal a Trial Verdict?

Can I Appeal a Trial Verdict?At the end of a criminal trial, the jury must deliberate in order to reach a guilty or not guilty verdict. The verdict represents the end of the trial, but it does not always represent the end of the criminal case. If a defendant is found guilty at trial, he has the right to appeal the verdict so he can continue to fight for his freedom. Here’s what you need to know about your right to appeal a trial verdict:

What is An Appeal?

An appeal allows defendants to ask the appellate court to review their case and reverse the verdict reached in trial court. Defendants typically cannot appeal a verdict simply because they do not like the outcome of their trial. There must be some reason for appealing, such as an error made during the trial that could have affected the outcome.

What to Expect During An Appeal

The first step in an appeal is submitting a brief to the appellate court that explains the reasoning behind your request. The brief should use facts and previous court decisions to support your argument and convince the appellate court to reverse the guilty verdict.

There are no jurors present at the appeal hearing and neither side is allowed to call witnesses to the stand. Instead, both the prosecution and defense will make oral arguments before the judges. The judges will also have the opportunity to ask each side questions to better understand their arguments.

The judges will consider this information, along with evidence and transcripts from the trial, when deciding on the defendant’s fate. The judges’ decision is then put in writing and made available to the public.

What Happens After An Appeal?

If the appellate court agrees with the verdict, the case will come to an end. However, the defendant may still have the right to file another appeal to an even higher court. If the appellate court does not agree with the verdict, the case is usually sent back down to the trial court. Sometimes, the appellate court will order the trial court to hold a completely new trial. But, in other cases, the appellate court simply asks the trial court to modify the initial decision or review new evidence or facts related to the case.

Appealing a verdict is challenging, which is why you will need help from an experienced criminal defense lawyer at The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center. Our attorneys go the extra mile to help clients reach the best possible outcome in their appeal. Call our office at 816-322-8008, email us at or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation today.

Coordinating Insurance: Who Pays After an Accident?

Coordinating Insurance: Who Pays After an Accident?Expenses start to pile up quickly after a car accident. If your car was hit, repairing it could cost thousands of dollars. But, the cost of repairs is small compared to the cost of treating serious car accident injuries. In fact, the average value of property damage in 2013 was just over $3,000, whereas the average value of car accident injuries was over $15,000. Who is responsible for paying these expenses? Here’s what car accident victims need to know:

The Fault System in Missouri

The state of Missouri uses the fault system in car accident cases. Basically, this means the party that is responsible for causing the accident is responsible for compensating the victim for damages suffered in the accident. However, it is rarely the at-fault driver who ends up paying for the victim’s damages. If the driver is insured, the auto insurance company is responsible for compensating the victim.

Proving Fault in Car Accident Cases

You will need to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company as soon as possible after a crash. But, it’s important to understand that the insurance company will not write you a check without seeing proof that their policyholder was truly responsible for the accident.

Proving fault means showing that the accident occurred as a result of the other driver’s negligence. For example, running a red light is negligent because it is against the law. If the other driver collided with you because he ran a red light, his negligent behavior caused the accident.

There are a number of types of evidence that can prove fault in a car accident case. Police reports, witness statements, and surveillance footage are often used to prove fault. Photographs from the scene of the accident are also valuable pieces of evidence that can help both parties piece together the events leading up to the crash. If you can present evidence that proves the other driver is to blame, their insurance company is responsible for compensating you.

Proving Damages in Car Accident Cases

At this point, the insurance company should understand that their policyholder was at fault for the accident. The final step in the process of recovering compensation is proving damages. The insurance company will need to see proof of your injuries and the expenses and losses related to your injuries. This is the only way the insurance company will know how much they need to pay to fully compensate you for the harm their policyholder has caused.

Have you been injured in a car accident? If so, contact the attorneys at The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC right away. Our team of personal injury attorneys knows the best way to negotiate with insurance companies, and we will not settle for less than what you deserve. Call our office at 816-322-8008, email us at or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation today.

Accident Trauma: Recovering Non-Economic Damages

Accident Trauma: Recovering Non-Economic DamagesPersonal injury victims are entitled to economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages compensate victims for objective losses related to their injuries, such as medical bills or lost wages. Non-economic damages, which are often referred to as pain and suffering damages, compensate victims for subjective losses such as physical and mental pain. It is fairly challenging to recover non-economic damages since these losses are subjective, but an experienced personal injury attorney can help. Here’s what you need to know about recovering non-economic damages:

Factors That Affect Non-Economic Damages

The at-fault party’s insurance company will take a number of factors into consideration when determining whether or not you should receive non-economic damages. The severity of your injuries will play an important role in this decision. Insurance companies place a higher value on serious injuries that cause a great deal of discomfort or require extensive treatment.

The impact the injuries have had on your career, personal relationships, and daily life is also taken into consideration. For example, a victim should be compensated if his injuries have put a strain on his marriage. A victim should also recover compensation if his injuries have made it impossible for him to engage in activities he used to enjoy.

Finally, the insurance company will also consider the long-term consequences of your injuries. If your injury will continue to affect your life in the future, this will increase the value of your claim.

Types of Evidence Used to Prove Pain and Suffering

You cannot provide receipts or invoices to prove non-economic damages, but there are other forms of evidence that may strengthen your case. Making daily entries in an injury journal is a good way to document your symptoms and emotional state. You can also use the journal to document the ways your injuries have interfered with your daily life.

Many personal injury victims also rely on witness testimony to prove their pain and suffering. For instance, a healthcare provider can explain why your condition is so painful and how it has negatively impacted your life. Loved ones can also serve as witnesses in a personal injury case so they can describe how your injuries have affected your mood, personality, and relationships. It’s won’t be easy to hear how you’ve changed because of your injuries, but this testimony could be the key to recovering the non-economic damages you deserve.

You are entitled to compensation for your injuries, but recovering this compensation is not easy without help from The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will aggressively negotiate with the insurance company to obtain compensation for your injuries. If necessary, we will take your case to trial and continue to fight for what you deserve. Call our office at 816-322-8008, email us at or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation today.