Pros and Cons of Arbitration for Personal Injury Claims

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When determining whether to take part in arbitration, mediation or litigation, the individual will need to assess the pros and cons of each process and why to choose one over all others. It is important to consider that most arbitration conclusions are binding to all parties involved and usually do not lead to an appeals process.

Before fully deciding which option to choose, there are certain legal requirements depending on the state the person resides in and involving the personal injury. If there are necessary processes that lead to arbitration or mediation first, the victim may not have any options available to pursue. However, these issues need addressing with a legal representative to assist with progressing through the legal channels appropriately. After these matters are clear, the individual may then weigh the pros and cons of each procedure. With the advice and assistance of a lawyer, the person may decide on the best possible method to resolve a personal injury claim.

The Process Explained

When deciding upon which process to consider, the person may need to understand each procedure first. With arbitration, the parties involved will determine certain matters. These may include who pays which items such as court and legal fees. Another concern is how the arbitration will occur and if it will have binding or nonbinding results. Then, an arbitrator is chosen to determine the final decision. Unless the outcome is unreasonably unfair, an appeals process is not possible after the arbitrator concludes the process. Similar items are necessary such as evidence and witness statements. Experts in certain issues could present testimony that may affect the outcome.

The Possible Pros of Arbitration

Personal injury claims are complex matters that often require significant evidence to prove that another person or entity is responsible for the damage caused. Arbitration processes are voluntary with all parties agreeing to the factors involved with binding or nonbinding results. For damage awards to ensure that the victim receives compensation, the individual may need to go through the same processes that litigation requires. This may lead to additional witnesses providing testimony, an expert in the matter to connect liability and a lawyer to help convince the arbitrator that the victim should receive compensation. The pros of this process often include the binding results when the third-party arbitrator decides the injured has sufficient evidence to prove the case.

The formal process is similar to litigation, and the parties involved may find this comforting. While the results of the process may have a binding effect, the costs and time is generally significantly less than the litigation method. Arbitrators often have years or decades more experience than the standard judge in a courtroom, and his or her judgment takes into account all factors supplied by the parties. Lawyers specializing in arbitration may assist in a greater degree when they are not arguing against certain aspects of a case. A faster process may also supply either side with enough time to make the case without complicating matters too much.

The Cons of Arbitration

The primary concern in arbitration with a personal injury claim is the binding or nonbinding judgment. If the plaintiff seeks compensation for his or her situation, a nonbinding outcome usually provides little resolution. Additionally, a binding judgment may not include as much compensation as necessary for a full recovery from the negative circumstances. With little options for appeal, the person may face only a slight increase in quality of life from the arbitration process. He or she may also need to agree upon the procedure entirely with the other party before it may begin. Then, an arbitrator needs picking so there is a third-party with experience in making a ruling.

While the process is usually much quicker than litigation along with fewer costs, the person may still need to hire a lawyer to assist with the entire event. Adding in an expert witness, and the expense of the arbitration may increase to more than the individual expected initially. The plaintiff may not have any familiarity with this legal method, and he or she could remain confused until the lawyer has time to explain various matters.

Legal Support in Personal Injury Arbitration

When choosing to go through with arbitration, the plaintiff should consult with a lawyer. The legal representative may need hiring after he or she receives a full explanation of the case details. This could increase chances of success significantly, and the client may lose his or her confusion after the hire.


Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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