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What is Arbitration?

Without going to court, a personal injury lawsuit might be settled through arbitration. In arbitration, the parties consent to a meeting with the arbiter who will make the decision.

The arbitrator, who is typically an attorney, must be compensated for their time, and both parties are responsible for paying for it.

A lot of arbitration hearings take place in a single day. They will pick one side or the other since, unlike in mediation, the goal is not to reach a compromise but rather to determine who is correct based on the facts.

Arbitration’s key benefit is that it is a rapid and economical process.

In the majority of circumstances, arbitration in a personal injury claim is entirely discretionary. You might occasionally be required by contract to use arbitration. As many nursing home contracts have an arbitration clause, cases of nursing home abuse frequently involve incidents like these.

What Are the Differences Between Arbitration and Trial?

If your personal injury lawsuit, such as a car accident claim, cannot be settled by straightforward discussion, you have the right to a trial. Going to arbitration first resembles going to court. However, the two are very different.

  • Trials typically go longer and involve more steps, giving participants more chances to object to or challenge the evidence.
  • At trial, A jury of twelve members hears your case. Claims in arbitration are heard and decided by one person.
  • In contrast to arbitration, the threshold for evidence is higher in a trial. Arbitrators have the discretion to accept hearsay and other types of evidence that are not admissible in court.
  • Before a trial, there is a period of discovery during which you can gather information and ask for the opposing side’s documents. Most of the time, you are ready for the evidence they will use against you. In arbitration, you may only have a small window of opportunity to study papers that you encounter for the first time during the arbitration process itself.

Is Arbitration Beneficial or Harmful to My Case?

Whether or not arbitration will be beneficial to your case will depend on certain circumstances. 

Similar to a trial, there is no way to predict whether you will win or lose in arbitration. However, you can assess the strength of your argument and comprehend the benefits and drawbacks of arbitration.

The main thing to think about is whether you would do better in front of a jury. If juries are sympathetic toward you, your personality, or your injury, they may grant you a far larger sum of money. Additionally, juries are more inclined to rely their decisions on their feelings than just the facts. You forfeit that if you proceed with arbitration. However, juries may be biased against you, or you may have an injury that juries may not always take seriously. You might do better in arbitration in this situation.

How persuasive your case is overall should also be taken into account. If your case is weak, you have a low chance of succeeding at trial but a considerably higher chance of succeeding in arbitration. Even with a “high-low agreement,” you might be allowed to enter arbitration. Here, the parties specify a maximum compensation and a minimum payout, and regardless of the arbitrator’s decision, you receive at least the minimum payout (but you cannot get more than the maximum). This safeguards both parties.

Regardless of how compelling your argument is, don’t be shocked if the insurance company asks for arbitration. It saves money for insurance companies; thus, they favor it frequently.

Contact an Attorney for Legal Advice

Your attorney will be able to help determine if your case is better off going to trial or arbitration. 

Your attorney will advise you on the best course of action. It is their duty to help you obtain maximum compensation for your losses, whether that means taking your case to arbitration or not. 

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