Why Is My Car Accident Claim Going To Arbitration

Why Is My Car Accident Claim Going to Arbitration?

When you file a car accident claim, you may be surprised to learn that your insurance company is sending it to arbitration. Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that involves a neutral third party, known as an arbitrator, who hears evidence and makes a binding decision.

What Is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a private and confidential process that is typically faster and less expensive than going to court. It is often used to resolve disputes between businesses, but it can also be used to resolve car accident claims.

Types of Arbitration

There are two main types of arbitration:

  • Binding arbitration: The arbitrator’s decision is final and binding on both parties.
  • Non-binding arbitration: The arbitrator’s decision is not binding on either party. The parties can still go to court if they are not satisfied with the arbitrator’s decision.

Differences Between Arbitration and Litigation

Arbitration is different from litigation in several ways:

Characteristic Arbitration Litigation
Process Private and confidential Public and adversarial
Time Typically faster Typically slower
Cost Typically less expensive Typically more expensive
Discovery Limited Extensive
Outcome Binding (unless non-binding arbitration) Not binding

Ease of Arbitration

Arbitration is generally considered to be an easier process than litigation. The rules of evidence are more relaxed, and the parties have more control over the process.

Process of Arbitration

The process of arbitration typically involves the following steps:

  1. The parties agree to submit their dispute to arbitration.
  2. An arbitrator is selected.
  3. The parties present their evidence and arguments to the arbitrator.
  4. The arbitrator makes a decision.

Advantages of Arbitration

Arbitration offers several advantages over litigation, including:

  • Speed: Arbitration is typically faster than litigation.
  • Cost: Arbitration is typically less expensive than litigation.
  • Privacy: Arbitration is a private and confidential process.
  • Control: The parties have more control over the arbitration process than they would in court.

Disadvantages of Arbitration

Arbitration also has some disadvantages, including:

  • Lack of discovery: The discovery process in arbitration is limited, which can make it difficult for the parties to obtain all of the information they need to make their case.
  • Bias: Arbitrators are not always impartial, and they may be biased in favor of one party or the other.
  • Finality: The arbitrator’s decision is final and binding (unless non-binding arbitration), which means that the parties cannot appeal the decision.

How to Avoid Arbitration

If you do not want your car accident claim to go to arbitration, you should take the following steps:

  • Read your insurance policy carefully. Your insurance policy may contain a provision that requires you to submit your claim to arbitration. If you do not want to be bound by this provision, you should contact your insurance company and ask to have it removed.
  • File your claim promptly. If you file your claim promptly, you may be able to avoid arbitration. Insurance companies are more likely to send claims to arbitration if they have been delayed.

What to Do If Your Claim Is Sent to Arbitration

If your car accident claim is sent to arbitration, you should take the following steps:

  • Hire an attorney. An attorney can help you prepare for arbitration and represent your interests.
  • Gather evidence. You will need to gather evidence to support your claim. This evidence may include medical records, police reports, and witness statements.
  • Present your case. You will have the opportunity to present your case to the arbitrator. You should be prepared to answer questions and cross-examine the other party’s witnesses.

Conclusion

Arbitration can be a good option for resolving car accident claims. It is typically faster, less expensive, and more private than litigation. However, it is important to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of arbitration before you agree to submit your claim to arbitration.

FAQ

Q: What is the difference between binding and non-binding arbitration?

A: Binding arbitration is final and binding on both parties. Non-binding arbitration is not binding on either party. The parties can still go to court if they are not satisfied with the arbitrator’s decision.

Q: How do I choose an arbitrator?

A: You can choose an arbitrator by agreement with the other party. If you cannot agree on an arbitrator, the court will appoint one for you.

Q: What happens if I am not satisfied with the arbitrator’s decision?

A: If you are not satisfied with the arbitrator’s decision, you can appeal the decision to the court. However, the court will only overturn the arbitrator’s decision if there was a legal error or if the arbitrator was biased.

Closing Statement

Arbitration can be a good option for resolving car accident claims. It is typically faster, less expensive, and more private than litigation. However, it is important to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of arbitration before you agree to submit your claim to arbitration.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. You should consult with an attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.