Many types of accidents occur everyday in which people are injured and have the right to their day in court. It may surprise you, however, that most cases never see the inside of a courtroom. Many cases are thrown out while most others are settled without the need for litigation. It is often the case that personal injury lawyers for the plaintiff and the defendant are able to communicate among themselves to reach an appropriate settlement. On other occasions, the parties and their lawyers use alternative dispute resolution procedures such as mediation or arbitration to reach a mutually agreed upon resolution of the case.
The actual settlement reached in cases can be largely dependent on the type of legal procedure used to adjudicate the matter. Because procedures can affect the outcome of cases so significantly, it is very important to consider arbitration as a means of resolving personal injury disputes. Conferring with your personal injury lawyer will help you to evaluate whether or not your case is appropriate for arbitration.
Greater Control Over Time and Place
As your personal injury lawyer will tell you, arbitration can be advantageous in a number of ways. When cases go through the conventional legal process, they are usually tied up in a long, protracted process that can take years. In arbitration cases, the parties usually select one individual third party to hear the case with rules that are streamlined and efficient. When the parties mutually agree to proceed with arbitration, they can also agree that the final award of the arbitrator is binding. When an award is binding, it cannot be appealed.
Unlike traditional cases in court, arbitration will usually involve a handful of hearings before the case is concluded. In addition, none of the burdensome rules of discovery apply to arbitration cases, making them much easier to conclude in a short period of time. There are few filings required, no juries to select, and no rules of evidence in arbitration, making this form of alternative dispute resolution very appealing to many parties. The case can only go to arbitration, however, if both parties agree.
Cases Based On Contracts
If a case somehow involves a dispute arising out of a contract, the parties may have no choice but to go to arbitration. If there is a clause in the contract that specifically states that any dispute arising from the contract shall only be heard through arbitration, the case cannot be heard in any other forum. Many businesses prefer to insert this kind of language into all of their contracts to place a limit on the costs of litigating disagreements arising from their contracts.
Another feature of arbitration that may be appealing is that the dispute is heard by an individual or group of individuals instead of a jury. Some parties require arbitration clauses in their contracts because they believe they will receive a better outcome that way rather than with an unpredictable jury. Moreover, once an arbitration clause is inserted into a contract, it is almost impossible to avoid in the event of a contract breach. Virtually all courts will uphold the requirement of arbitration if it is plainly the intention of the parties as written in the contract document.
If you are curious about whether your case should go to arbitration, consider consulting with a personal injury lawyer. Contact your personal injury lawyer today to discuss your legal options.