Avoiding the courtroom is an attainable goal when working towards a settlement from a car accident. Whether you were the driver at fault or the victim, arbitration could be beneficial to both sides. If you are unsure if arbitration is right for your particular case, here are some pros and cons to mull over.
One of the reasons you should consider arbitration is that it helps to avoid hostility. It is very easy for both parties to become upset during negotiations. The more escalation there is of emotions, the more difficult it is to reach a settlement. In arbitration, both parties are allowed to present their cases, and an arbitrator makes a decision. This removes any chances for hostility between both parties.
Arbitration is also cost-effective. Going to court can carry additional expenses, such as filing fees. When you opt for arbitration, your fees are limited to the arbitrator and other fees related to preparing for your case, such as a consultation with an attorney.
Arbitration is also a simplified version of the court system. Instead of going to court to argue over point of the case leading up to the actual court date, most issues are worked out in an informal manner. For instance, if you needed certain evidence from the other party, the arbitrator can contact him or her by phone and request that the evidence is provided. By contrast, you would have to wait for discovery to recover the evidence you need in a basic court case.
Even though arbitration has its advantages, there are some disadvantages. For instance, if you and the other party have agreed that the arbitrator's decision is final, you could be forced to live with a decision that you consider less than favorable. In some instances, if the other party is dissatisfied, both parties can go to the court to have their case heard, but only if both parties are on board.
Another issue with arbitration is that there is a lack of transparency when it comes to the arbitrator's decision making. Some aspects of the judgment process are kept private. As a result, you have no way of knowing exactly how the arbitrator reached his or her decision.
A good way to determine if arbitration is for you is to talk with an attorney that is experienced with car accidents and the laws in your state. He or she can help you weigh the pros and cons and decide what the best legal option is for you. For more information, contact a local law firm like The Best and Westover .