When a personal injury claim is filed, the case doesn’t always end up in front of a jury. Many personal injury claims are negotiated out of court. When a personal injury case is settled out of court, negotiations usually take place between opposing parties, which may include an alternative dispute resolution process known as arbitration.
Continue reading to learn some important facts about personal injury arbitration, including which cases are more likely to be settled this way.
Facts About Personal Injury Alternative Dispute Resolution
Both personal injury defendants and claimants can sometimes choose arbitration over going to trial, namely for reasons of time and money. Arbitration is faster, more efficient, and costs much less than a court trial. It is a streamline version of dispute resolution since it eliminates the formalities of court procedures, such as filing, court dates, motions, jury selection, and more. Court costs, attorney fees, filing fees, and time off work are all examples of associated, out-of-pocket costs claimants can face if they push for their case to go to trial.
What it Means to Agree to Arbitration
To be granted this type of alternative dispute resolution, both parties must agree to it in most circumstances. When two parties go to arbitration, together they select an impartial, unbiased party to arbitrate their dispute. This person is known as an arbitrator. The two parties agree beforehand that they will comply with the arbitrator’s award. Once the arbitration begins, a single hearing or a series of hearings are held to allow both parties to present their evidence and testimony. At the conclusion, the arbitrator renders a final decision. Sometimes arbitrations occur by panel decision, with three arbitrators deciding the case.
Be Aware of Arbitration Clauses
Some contracts between parties retain an arbitration clause that mandates mediation over trial in the event of a breach of contract or a disagreement about the terms of a contract. In this scenario, both parties would have no other choice but to go to arbitration to resolve the case. This avoids high court costs and trial fees and makes the process much quicker.
In some personal injury cases, insurance companies use this clause because they think they are more likely to have a sympathetic arbitrator than a sympathetic jury. Arbitration clauses are near impossible to escape because they are in most cases valid and legally-binding. In some cases companies will abandon their arbitration clauses, while in other cases, courts can hold that they are not enforceable. Every case is different.
Are you wondering how to get started on the right path toward obtaining the full and fair settlement you deserve after being wrongfully injured in an accident? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. We represent clients all throughout the state and Indiana residents injured in other states. There is no need to travel, as we are happy to hold case evaluations via phone or online video conference.