Exploring Social Security Cases and Outcomes

Arbitration And Personal Injury Cases

by Marie Caldwell

Personal injury cases usually start with a filed claim. If the claim is not paid, the victim can file a lawsuit. In some cases though, a courtroom is not the next stop after a claim is filed-- arbitration sometimes is. If you believe your case is headed to arbitration, here is what you need to know:

Is Arbitration Voluntary?

In some personal injury cases, arbitration is a voluntary move. If you and the negligent party agree to choose arbitration, you could potentially save on costs and have the dispute settled quicker. An impartial person will hear both sides of the case and make a decision.

In other instances, arbitration is not voluntary. Some personal injury cases end up in arbitration due to contract clauses. For instance, if you were hit by another driver, his or her insurance company might have an arbitration clause in the insurance policy. If so, you likely do not have a choice in whether to attend.

Is Arbitration a Good Move?

If you are not being forced to go to arbitration, you have to weigh the pros and cons of agreeing to go. There are several factors to consider. One of the biggest is that the decision made in arbitration is usually binding. Regardless of the outcome, you will have to live with the decision of the arbitrator.

There is a real possibility that you could lose your case in arbitration. Arbitrators decide cases based solely on the law. There is no emotional component. However, if your case is heard by a jury, you might fare better since they are more likely to consider the emotional aspect of your case and the law.

Arbitration does have benefits though. It is often quicker than a court case. Another benefit is that you can rely on your attorney's help to build and present your case. This ups the chances of you winning the case.

Is There an Alternative?

If you are concerned that you could lose your case in arbitration, you can choose to move forward with your case through the court. You can also ask the other party to go to mediation. Mediation is not binding and it gives you a greater chance of walking away with something for your injuries.

If there is a clause that requires arbitration, you have to work with your attorney to prepare for the arbitration. This can mean collecting evidence, providing a list of witnesses, and preparing to testify at your hearing. Contact a law office like Eric J. Moore Company, Attorneys At Law for more information.