If you have been involved in an accident and filed a personal injury claim, your case might go to arbitration. Arbitration takes less time and financial resources than a court hearing, so it is often a good way to get a fair settlement for an accident injury claim.
However, you need to be aware that arbitration is not a fast approach to resolving the matter. You cannot expect an overnight resolution for your personal injury claim. Arbitration is very detailed, and it can take several weeks for the entire process to be completed.
How Long Does Arbitration Take?
If you have made a personal injury claim that has stalled due to a dispute with the at-fault party’s insurer, there is an alternative to taking the case to court.
Your personal injury lawyer may recommend applying for arbitration if this is agreed to by the defendant’s insurer as well. How long does arbitration take? This depends on the complexity of the case and how long it takes to find a suitable arbitrator but the whole process may take several weeks.
The process of arbitration involves a sequence of steps. An agreement between the two parties to take the case to arbitration must be made first, acknowledging that once a decision by an arbitrator has been made, it is binding on both parties.
Once arbitration has been applied for, it may take some time to find a suitable arbitrator and to schedule a meeting between the parties and the arbitrator. The number of these sessions may range from one to several depending on the complexity of the claim. The time for arbitration will be extended if further arbitration sessions are required.
Once a decision by the arbitrator has been made, an award may be granted and payment must then be made by the defendant’s insurer.
If either party is unsatisfied by the decision, an appeal may be made, but this will also have to be approved and scheduled and this will then be another reason for extending the time taken for a final decision to be made.
The length of time that this process takes will vary depending upon the circumstances, but it usually lasts a few days or a few weeks. The arbitrator then makes a legally binding decision that the parties must abide by unless they appeal. If there is an appeal, it could prolong the arbitration process longer.
The Arbitration Process
After you, your attorney, the insurance company and the insurance company’s lawyer have agreed to arbitration, you will need to make a request for arbitration, which will be filed and initiated. This first phase of the process could take a week or two.
After that, you will then be assigned an arbitrator for your case and all parties must approve. Depending on your case, the location, and the arbitrators in the area, it could take anywhere from two to six weeks to have an arbitrator assigned.
After an arbitrator has been assigned, information will be exchanged and both sides will prepare for the arbitration. This could take a couple of weeks as well.
Then, usually about 10 to 12 weeks after arbitration was agreed upon, you will have an arbitration hearing. An award will then be paid, if it is applicable. It could take a couple more weeks for the check to be issued after the award has been ruled on.
The Arbitrator’s Decision
Arbitration usually moves much more quickly than a trial through the court system. The arbitrator sets the date for arbitration to get started and, also sets a deadline for the submission of all evidence. Usually, arbitration meetings take place with all parties in the room together. Using this approach, the arbitrator can hear all back and forth arguments while considering the claim.
The arbitrator will then rule on the claim and usually, that ruling stands. In most instances, an arbitration hearing cannot be overturned, the ruling cannot be ignored, and an appeal cannot be filed. Only in rare situations could a participant in the case file an appeal in court to challenge the arbitrator’s decision. Often, that can only be done in situations where “due process” is believed to have been violated.
Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney
If you have suffered damages in an accident, consult with a personal injury attorney. A personal injury lawyer will make sure your claim is aggressively pursued and will work toward getting you a fair settlement. Without an attorney, your odds of a successful claim decrease significantly.
Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page, so your details can be shared with a local accident injury attorney. This lawyer will review your case and determine the best way to proceed with your claim. A strict statute of limitations applies, so time is of the essence. Don’t wait until it is too late to recover compensation for your damages. Get your claim underway today!