Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution. This is an alternative to filing a bench or jury trial.
Some people view arbitration as a cost effective way to seek compensation for their harms and losses. In some cases, arbitration is consensual. This means that the parties must agree to the arbitration process. In some cases another party compels arbitration.
Also, note that some insurance contracts have an arbitration clause which require policyholders to use the arbitration process in order to seek a remedy rather than using the court system to seek relief.
However, also not that anyone can agree to use the arbitration process even if they are not legally required to do so.
What are the procedures for Arbitration?
The first thing that happens during the arbitration process occurs when the complaining party sends a notice to the other party. The notice outlines the basis for the dispute. Next, the responding party has a period of time where they can respond to the notice.
The next thing that occurs is the selection of arbitrators. There are a few different ways that the selection process can occur.
First, the process can be determined by an arbitration agreement. As discussed in the previous paragraph, many different insurance contracts include an arbitration clause. This arbitration clause often includes a clause which lays out how arbitrators will be selected.
If there is not an arbitration clause or if the arbitration clause does not specify how the arbitrators will be selected, the arbitrators are selected through some sort of agreement between the two parties.
After the selection of arbitrators, the panel of arbitrators will likely hear testimony and other evidence.
The actual arbitration process will vary greatly.
If you signed a contract that has an arbitration clause you should refer to that contract in order to determine what the procedures for the arbitration. If the parties do not have a contract in place that discusses the arbitration process the parties will come to an agreement as to how the arbitration will take place.
It is important to remember that the arbitrator must be a neutral person. If an individual has an interest in the outcome of the arbitration they cannot serve as the arbitrator.
Next, the parties will exchange information and prepare for presentations.
Then the hearing will begin. Both parties will have a chance to present evidence and testimony. After the hearings, parties may be asked to present more documentation to the arbitrator.
Finally, the panel will reach a ruling and will deliver this ruling to the parties.
This ruling could be final.
If a ruling is final then the parties will not be able to appeal the decision. Essentially, a final decision by the arbitrator closes the case and the parties have to accept the outcome. Some rulings are not final and the parties will be able to appeal the decision.
How do you prepare for your Arbitration?
One thing that you can do if you are opposed to arbitration is speak up when you are about to sign a contract. Many people do not read their agreements prior to signing. This can lead to mandatory arbitration clauses.
The best thing that you can do to prepare for an arbitration is to retain an attorney.
Attorneys are familiar with different types of alternative dispute resolution and they will be able to guide you through the entire process.
Another thing that you should do is read over your contract if you are required to use arbitration due to a contract.
Reviewing the contract will allow you to determine how the arbitration process will occur.
What Fees involved?
The fees that are involved in arbitration will vary greatly on where the arbitration takes place.
There is an initial processing fee that is paid for by the claimant.
There is also a fee for discovery.
Before you agree to pursue arbitration, you should discuss your situation with an attorney. The attorney will be able to assist you in determining what fees will be associated with the arbitration that you commence after your car accident.
What is the difference between Arbitration and Litigation?
Many people make comparisons between arbitration and litigation. There are a few differences between arbitration and litigation.
First, remember that the parties have a say on who the arbitrators will be. This is not the case when there is litigation. Judges are normally assigned cases at random.
Another key difference is that arbitration is not a matter of public record. Normally, details about cases that are litigated can be accessed by the public.
Details about the case will be kept private if you use arbitration.
Lastly, litigation is often a very long process and will not be officially ended for many years. Arbitration can be a much more efficient process. This is partly because some of the decisions that arbitrators make are not able to be appealed.
What is the difference between Mediation and Arbitration?
Mediation and arbitration are similar in many ways.
For example, mediation and arbitration are both forms of alternative dispute resolution.
One important similarity is that attorneys can help guide participants through this process.
Both mediation and arbitration have similar goals. Each are processes that parties use in order to reach a fair resolution to some type of dispute.
There are however differences between mediation and arbitration.
First, mediators do not hear evidence and testimony, but arbitrators do.
In addition, arbitrators have the ability to issue orders and make final determinations of fault. Mediators are not able to do this.
Overall, arbitration is a more formal process than mediation.
If you have any questions contact the lawyers at Hutchison & Stoy. The experienced lawyers at Hutchison & Stoy are happy to answer any questions that you have about your case and help guide you through the process of alternative dispute resolution.