Should I appeal after court refused me compensation?

I was in court last week as a result of my bike accident. I was claiming against a van driver for injuries caused in the accident but I lost my case at court. My friend said I could appeal the court’s decision and have a retrial. Basically the accident involved the van driver turning in front of me without warning. The judge found fully in favour of the van driver. I believe that the judge misunderstood the evidence that I presented. Please let me know if I can and should appeal.
Ben Matthewson, by e-mail

Answer

There is a time limit of 21 days from the court decision in which to lodge an appeal. To succeed you will need to show that the judge was

(a)    plainly wrong in law or fact (and this had a bearing or the result) or;

(b)    erred seriously in his judgment – in other words that no reasonable judge would have found as he did.

The most sensible approach would be for your barrister who represented you to write an urgent 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. I note you don’t say how badly injured you were. 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.

Download

Ask the expert (MCN Column pdf)