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How long do I have to file an appeal in a personal injury case?

Belleville, IL |

The evidence in my case was misrepresented, and caused me to lose my case. If it can be proven that the evidence is actually in my favor, and that my lawyer didn't do anything about it, even though I told him about it many times over several years, how long do I have to file an appeal? I have not signed anything giving up any rights to this case.

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Attorney answers 6


Generally 30 from the date the date of the judgment--or from the date the judge rules on the final issue raised by any post trial motion.


Generally, you have 30 days after a final and appealable order is entered, to file a notice of appeal. There are many things that appear final that are not appealable and you must also have specific legal grounds upon which to base an appeal.

However, there are many other stringent requirements that must also be met.

If you are still represented by a lawyer, you cannot file a notice of appeal on your own case--you'd have to either have your attorney do so or fire him and do it yourself.

I urge you to retain a lawyer with expertise in civil appeals rather than just throwing caution to the wind and making a mess of this.

Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
Chicago, IL

This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.


Generally 30 days from judgment. If your trial lawyer is not going to handle the appeal and/or post trial motions, you should attempt to get new counsel. Appeals are technical and difficult to win even with counsel. Probably close to, if not totally, impossible without counsel.

The contents of this post do not establish an attorney-client relationship. Any comments made in this post are general in nature and may not apply to the specific facts and law of your case.


Those do not sound, at first blush, like appealable issues and I hope you have something much better than that to work with. In general, a notice of appeal must be filed within thirty days of entry of final judgment in order to initiate an appeal. The litigation of an appeal in Illinois usually takes about a year to two years, sometimes more, occasionally less. It is most definitely not a do-it-yourself project and should be in the hands of an attorney who is at home with appellate practice. Most attorneys will not touch it.


Not sure if you have appealable grounds, but have a local lawyer investigate.


You have been given good answers earlier to your question about filing an appeal. You should pursue that avenue without delay with an attorney experienced in appellate practice.

Next, while an investigation may find that your trial attorney had reasons to pursue your case in the manner in which he did, if you feel otherwise, then you may want to explore a legal malpractice case. Legal malpractice is typically time-consuming and costly to prove. So, an attorney will take a careful look before committing, but you should explore the option if you feel appropriate. Note that pursuing the appeal may be important in preserving your rights even if your attorney made mistakes.

The scope of this space does not afford an opportunity to adequately advise you. The response provided is intended to be informative, but not final. You are advised to arrange a consultation at which all facts and documents can be explored and terms for representation agreed. An attorney-client relationship must be formally established.

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