Arbitration is a type of alternative dispute resolution that is similar to a court hearing. It is intended to reach a resolution in the personal injury dispute without going to a more formal trial. The arbitrator could be an attorney, a retired judge or someone else who specializes in this field. It’s important to understand some of the first steps to take when preparing to settle a case through arbitration resolution.
Beginning Steps in Arbitration
First, decide whether to arbitrate. The first step is arriving at the decision to resolve the matter through arbitration. Arbitration is voluntary in many cases, though there are instances where contracts between the parties require settling cases through arbitration.
Talk to your attorney about any product agreements or other contracts you signed and where they contain an arbitration clause. If not mandatory, both sides must agree to arbitration and will pick an arbitrator.
Next, gather documents and other relevant paperwork. The first thing submitted to the arbitrator are the basic facts surrounding the dispute. But additional evidence is important to establish two key elements.
The first is negligence (or fault), which claimants may establish through witness statements, photographs, video surveillance or a police report. This depends on the type of personal injury case.
The second is damages. This could include medical reports to show the extent and nature of one’s injuries, medical bills to show the costs incurred, pay stubs to show lost wages and more.
Finally, schedule a hearing. The final step is for the arbitration hearing to be scheduled. Evidence is presented by both sides. Witnesses may be examined and cross-examined. The arbitrator will issue a decision. Some arbitration hearings are binding, and others are non-binding.
Some personal injury cases are complicated and there may be disputes that prevent a settlement from being reached. Talk to an attorney at The Miley Legal Group in Clarksburg about the various types of alternative dispute resolutions that might be right for your case – 304-931-4088 or use our online contact form.