Arbitration is a cost effective way of resolving a dispute without having to go through the court process. Many people feel that the court system is intimidating and doesn’t fairly represent them, whether it’s in relation to an insurer failing to honor a personal injury settlement for reasons that can be disputed, or a bank refusing to grant a loan without any sound reason given.
A third party, called the arbitrator, who has no vested interest in the case, is brought in to make a decision about the dispute after hearing the evidence produced by both parties. If you have agreed to arbitration and not litigation you should involve a lawyer in your case who will advise you on the best way of presenting your evidence.
How the Process of Arbitration Works
The American Arbitration Association (AAA) handles many arbitration cases at little cost to the parties involved. The process starts as soon as a party files with the AAA a ‘Demand for Arbitration.’ The 2nd party, referred to as the respondent, is typically notified about the arbitration by the AAA and is given a deadline in which to respond. Following on from this:
- The AAA with the parties concerned selects an arbitrator based on specific criteria which the parties determine.
- The arbitrator arranges a date for a preliminary hearing with both the parties, to discuss the key issues of the case and any procedural matters, like availability of witnesses, any depositions and the sharing of information.
- The parties prepare their presentations and information exchanges.
- During the hearing, both of the parties can present to the arbitrator their testimonies and evidence.
- Following the hearing, both the parties may present further documentation, as decided by the arbitrator.
- Finally, the arbitrator reaches closure on the case and a decision is made, including, if applicable, an award.
Why Arbitration Is Gaining in Popularity
Arbitration may not always be the cheapest way of resolving dispute but it’s becoming popular amongst businesses because they can add a provision that stops parties to arbitration from pursuing lawsuits that involve class actions.
This can be very expensive for a business if the plaintiffs are filing a personal injury claim, such as an injury from a faulty product like an airbag. This could involve millions of dollars in compensation, as publicity from such class actions can quickly spread.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Arbitration?
It’s in your best interests to talk to a lawyer before the request for arbitration is filed with the AAA. This is because you may need help in presenting your case which could involve a substantial amount of money if the arbitrator recognizes your side of the story.
If you have been injured you won’t have another opportunity to fight for the compensation you may be entitled to receive in for example an accident that was not your fault. Your lawyer will advise you on your best course of action. Complete the Free Case Evaluation on this page to connect with an attorney today.