What are my options as plaintiff when my small claim case is found for the defendant?

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What are my options as plaintiff when my small claim case is found for the defendant?

I was broadsided on my motorcycle by a car at a 4-way stop. The police report concluded that it was the defendant’s fault and the result of my liability insurance carrier’s arbitration case with the defendant’s insurance company found there was no evidence to indicate I was at fault. Unfortunately, my case was heard in California small claims court by an attorney standing in for the judge. This particular individual showed obvious bias against motorcycle riders. With little consideration of the facts presented, she dismissed us and later notified me she found for the defendant. Do I have any further recourse or other options? Thanks for your time

Asked on August 14, 2017 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If the judge found for the defendant, your only option would be to appeal the judge's ruling. This is NOT recommended: appealing pro se is a good way to lose (appeals are very technical and depend on a knowledge of the law, not so much on the facts) while spending (probably) several hundred dollars on the official court transcipts you need to provide. Even if you hire a lawyer, the odds are against you--the majority of appeals fail; most decisions are upheld by the appeals court--and it will cost you several thousand dollars more. I have never once seen an appeal of small claims case being worthwhile.


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