If you are in settlement negotiations for your personal injury case, you have several resolution options you can choose from. You can litigate and then take your case to trial, you can take your case to mediation, you can attempt settlement with the liable party or their insurance company directly, or you may be able to arbitrate your case. Arbitration bypasses some of the court process and, in doing so, is a form of alternative dispute resolution. However, arbitration is not a dispute resolution process geared towards compromise and negotiation. Rather, arbitration allows two parties to submit their argument to a trained, neutral third party, the arbitrator, who will then evaluate the arguments and arrive at a conclusion. The conclusion is usually a binding, final decision on the case, which is legally enforceable and cannot be disputed by either party. You may be able to appeal the arbitrator’s award, depending on the circumstances. In certain cases, the arbitration award may be non-binding, but this depends on the case and the jurisdiction.
There is a lot of risk involved in arbitration, so it isn’t well suited for every personal injury case. Speak to an experienced Indiana personal injury attorney about arbitration if you have any questions about how it could benefit you. If the other party does not agree to submit to arbitration, it is unlikely that a court will order arbitration unless it is an insurance dispute and required (mandated) in the insurance policy. The arbitration process is much like the process for trial; information, documents, and discovery, or evidence, are submitted to the arbitrator or panel of arbiters. The arbitrator then reviews the materials and comes to a conclusion. Differing from mediation in that an arbitrator doesn’t work with the parties to negotiate a settlement agreement, arbitration is governed by several rules and guidelines, reflecting its formality. It may or may not take more time and resources than mediation, however, it is certainly higher stakes. Because an arbitration award is usually binding, arbitration may not appeal to everyone. However, in some cases, it can quickly resolve a case before reaching the trial process.
At Blackburn & Green, we will help you make the right personal injury case decisions and will work hard to obtain fair compensation for you. We offer free initial consultations at one of our office locations or at your home or hospital room. Call (800) 444-1112 or (260) 422-4400 to be connected with one of our 25 convenient office locations across Indiana or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation. Contact Blackburn & Green for knowledgeable and caring legal counsel on your personal injury case today.