Car accident medical claim, Defendant : Farmers Insurance and defendant, Claim amount $9000.00 (Include Personal Injury, pain and suffering), defendant properly served, Defendant or Farmers Insurance company never showed up for hearing, Judge mails the decision latter, Plaintiff awarded judgement of $1000.00, Can I appeal this judgement and have it for $9000.00. Is this logical decision of California Small court Judge in Moreno Valley. Did Judge err in deciding on the logic.
Unfortunately, a Plaintiff in a Small Claims matter does not have the right to appeal the verdict. Only the defendant has that right. Therefore, you do not have the right to appeal. You also do not provide enough information about the facts of the accident or the injuries suffered; therefore, I cannot properly evaluate the case or the reasonableness of the verdict.
Only a defendant can file an appeal of a small claims judgment. BUT if you are the plaintiff, and the defendant counter-sued you by filing a Defendant's Claim in response to your Plaintiff's Claim and you lose, you CAN appeal. Since a small claims appeal is a brand-new trial, the entire case is decided from scratch. Good luck.
You cannot Appeal per se however, you can back door around by filing a motion to correct or vacate the judgement based on erroneous conclusion of law/facts. There is a form on the courts website. Assuming you properly presented your evidence - your argument will be along the lines that all evidence presented was undisputed, etc... you may want to consult with an attorney on filing this motion since this will be your one shot. FYI you do not sue the insurance carrier only the driver and vehicle owner. the insurer is simply there to indemnify.
I agree with Mr. Harting and feel that your best argument for seeking correction is that the court must have meant to award you the small claims jurisdictional limit of $10,000 since your claim was unopposed but a typo cased judgment to be entered for only$1,000 as a clerical error. In your supporting declaration, note the amount of your medical bills if they exceed $1,000 to further evidence the typo argument. Note, though that the actual limit applicable to your small claims case is $7,500. See the court's website which reads, "There are some exceptions to the $10,000 limit for individuals: If you are filing a claim for bodily injuries as a result of a car accident against a person who has car insurance that includes a "duty to defend," you can only sue that person for $7,500." Lastly, take action because several procedural limitations require a filing within 30-days. We have small claims guidance in our blog linked below.
No, Plaintiff cannot appeal. "Only the defendant, or a plaintiff who was counter sued as a cross-defendant and lost on the cross-complaint, can appeal a small claims case. A plaintiff cannot file an appeal. The defendant or cross-defendant must have been present at the time of trial in order to appeal the decision."
Unfortunately, a Plaintiff cannot appeal and have a new trial. You can file a petition for reconsideration and/or a petition to set aside the judgement based on new facts or that the judge's decision was based on wrong facts or law. A good self help web site is http://www.courts.ca.gov/1072.htm.
Ok, so what my colleague failed to specifically mention is this:
Form SC-105 (Request For Court Order and Answer) and Form SC-108 (Request To Correct or Cancel).
Both of these forms will REQUIRE that the judge issue some kind of order. Whether or not the order is issued is another story. You can download the forms here:
They are simple to fill in, and free to file. You just need to be patient with the court system on getting an answer.
If you have further questions, be sure to speak with a lawyer that knows about Small Claims.
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