What is Arbitration in a Personal Injury Case?

Posted On December 12, 2022

There are various ways to resolve personal injury claims in Nevada. In many cases, this involves a settlement with insurance carriers. However, there are ways to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods to put a claim to rest. Arbitration is one of the most common types of alternative dispute resolution methods.

What is Arbitration in Colorado?

Simply put, arbitration is a procedure used to carry out dispute resolution. Arbitration can be either binding or non-binding, which we will discuss in a minute. Third-party arbitrators work to resolve a dispute privately without having to go through the process of a civil personal injury claim, which puts the matter into the court system and into the public record.

Voluntary and Mandatory Arbitration

Arbitration will be considered voluntary if both sides agree to use this as an alternative dispute resolution method. However, there are times when a judge could order mandatory arbitration or when arbitration is compulsory as a result of a clause in a contract between the parties.

Arbitration is often mandatory for personal injury protection claims, uninsured or underinsured motorist claims, and medical payments claims. Additionally, if an individual agrees to use the service of another individual or company, they may have signed an agreement that mandates arbitration should an injury occur.

Binding or Non-Binding Arbitration

Arbitration can be either binding or non-binding. If arbitration is binding, this means that the final decision of the arbitrator is final, and there will be no changes. There will be no appeals. Nobody can challenge the decision of a binding arbitration outcome.

In the event the arbitration is non-binding, this means that the parties can either accept the decision, move forward with civil legal action, or propose another type of alternative dispute resolution method.

What Happens in an Arbitration?

An arbitrator will typically be a retired judge or lawyer or someone who has experience handling dispute resolution methods. When the arbitration begins, both parties will have a chance to offer opening statements, and these parties will explain the claim and specify what outcome is acceptable.

After that, both parties will present their case. They will put forward evidence and explain why they think this evidence backs up their claim. After the evidence has been presented to the arbitrator, the decision will be made. An arbitrator usually makes their decision within a day after closing arguments.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Arbitration

There are various advantages and disadvantages of arbitration in Colorado. Some advantages include:

  • Less expensive than the court process
  • A faster resolution
  • Evidence rules are more flexible
  • No courtroom procedures

However, some of the disadvantages associated with arbitration include:

  • A jury of peers does not get to hear the case
  • There’s no opportunity for cross-examination of witnesses
  • The discovery of evidence is limited
  • Appealing the decision is incredibly difficult

We encourage any person who has been injured or harmed by another party to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. A personal injury lawyer can help guide their client through this process and discuss whether or not arbitration is the best route toward recovering compensation. If arbitration is mandatory, an attorney can help their client through this process. This means they will prepare their client for their arbitration hearing, be with them while the hearing is going on, and help them understand the process.