Arbitration is the process of resolving disputes without going to court. It happens to be a form of ADR or Alternate Dispute Resolution. The resolution usually involves the arbitrator, who hears all the arguments and comes to a conclusion. This is so much like what a judge would when there is a hearing in the court. When it comes to a car accident lawsuit, an arbitrator will jot down some key questions. The judgment will be based on the evidence and answers provided by both parties.
Arbitration is to save both the time and money of the parties concerned. The decision passed by the arbitrator is final, without scope for an appeal. Car accident claim mediation is a bit different from arbitration. How would you go about the process then? Here’s how.
Pros and Cons of Arbitration
Before taking your car accident claim to arbitration, you must know the upsides and downsides of arbitration. You cannot choose a judge during litigation, but in arbitration, both parties have the liberty to select their tribunal. In such a situation, choosing arbitrators who are experts in commercial property law would be wise. Also, arbitration happens to be quicker than litigation. Arbitral proceedings, as well as the decisions passed, are not made public, unlike a court judgment. Talking about the cons of arbitration, there is a limitation for appealing and this implies that even if a decision turns out to be erroneous, it can’t be overturned, unlike a court judgment. In many legal systems, there are fewer enforcement options associated with arbitration awards in comparison to judgments. Aside from that, arbitrators can’t impose interlocutory measures as well.
Arbitration can only happen when both parties agree to it. In the case of car accident claims, neither you nor your insurance company can force each other for arbitration. Both of you have to give your nod to it. There are some significant things that you need to agree upon like choosing the arbitrator. A retired judge or an experienced lawyer can be the arbitrator or anybody else whom both you and the insurance company decide on. The next key thing that you need to consider is that the arbitrator’s judgment will be final and binding. The insurance company might insist you to agree on a high-low agreement before you decide on arbitration.
This means you would receive not a penny more than the highest amount nor a penny less than the lowest amount, irrespective of the arbitrator’s decision. Lastly, you need to take the arbitration cost into account. On a general basis, the arbitrator’s fee is the only arbitration cost. This cost depends on the time the arbitrator is spending on the proceedings of the case.
What Happens During the Process?
Though arbitration is more or less similar to a trial, there is less formality in the procedures. While making the Opening Statement, you need to divulge the details to the arbitrator. The other party can give an Opening Statement as well. You have to testify under oath and then go ahead with your explanation of the case. Every detail from how the accident took place, to how it was the other driver’s fault, to what damages you have incurred. The more details you provide, the better.
You have to furnish your evidence documents which include your lost income statement, bills, and medical records. The defendant would also have to provide the necessary documents from their side. Next, one of the parties will submit a closing statement. The decision might not come on the spot but some days after the procedure is over.
What to Do Before Arbitration?
Prepare yourself carefully before you move ahead with arbitration. Use diagrams and photos to validate your points and support your case. Be aware of what points the other party might bring into the argument. Be prepared to refute them to the best of your ability. Don’t be intimidated if a lawyer represents the insurance company during the arbitration — try and be confident.
Remember that your car accident claim arbitrator can decide either of the party’s favor. To have the decision made in your favor, try to utilize the tips above to be in a vantage position.