Car accident victims may have questions about alternative dispute resolution and how it applies to a civil case. The following contains relevant information regarding alternative dispute resolution and car accident claims.
A car accident lawyer in Atlanta will not only help you navigate the arbitration process but will also do their due diligence to ensure you get the best outcome of your arbitration.
Alternative Dispute Resolution and Civil Lawsuits
Accident victims may not understand how civil lawsuits are settled before trial. The vast majority of civil lawsuits are resolved through alternative routes such as settlement negotiation, mediation, or arbitration. Alternative dispute resolution is an effective tool for reducing the number of cases on the dockets of judges.
Judicial efficiency is an important goal of those who have promoted the use of alternative dispute resolution. Only approximately 5 % of civil cases go to trial.
Get the strong arm
Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution designed to save time, money, and judicial resources. The private parties engage in communications with an arbitrator who is typically a former judge or lawyer trained in arbitration techniques. The arbitrator is a neutral third party who listens to each party’s theory of the case.
Arbitration may be binding or non-binding depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. If the parties engage in binding arbitration, then the arbitrator can make a legally binding final judgment regarding the case. This decision is non-appealable; non-binding arbitration does not bind the parties to the arbitrator’s final decision.
Car Accident Arbitration
Arbitration is not a trial, and the process is less formal than presenting your case before a judge or jury. However, a car accident lawyer in Atlanta will work with you to prepare for the arbitration. Typically, an attorney will deliver an opening statement, examine witnesses, submit evidence, and question expert witnesses. An arbitration proceeding generally lasts several hours.
One important activity to perform before an arbitration is a review of your testimony. You may be called to discuss the car accident and how it occurred. You may also be questioned about the nature of your injuries and any medical treatment you received; preparing with your attorney is essential to being able to present the strongest case possible.
What Is the Arbitrator Looking for in Your Car Accident Case?
An arbitrator will analyze evidence and question the parties about different aspects of the car accident case. The following are some of the questions an arbitrator may ask during an arbitration:
- What amount of financial compensation should the victim recover?
- Should the victim not receive any financial compensation?
- Did the victim suffer serious bodily injuries?
- Did the victim not suffer any injuries?
- Which party is liable for the accident?
Arbitrators do not have an interest in the outcome of the car accident case. They are neutral parties. As retired judges or lawyers, arbitrators have a history of examining cases and in most cases, both parties agree on the arbitrator before the arbitration will begin.
One party cannot unilaterally choose an arbitrator to serve during an arbitration proceeding.
Mediation is not the same as arbitration; the arbitrator determines the outcome of the case. During mediation, the parties attempt to come up with a decision on their own by working with a mediator throughout the entire proceeding.
The Benefits of Arbitration
Arbitration has many benefits both for the parties, the courts, and the public. The following are some of the benefits of resolving your car accident case through arbitration:
- It is possible to set a spectrum of damages before the arbitration begins, and this allows you to know that you will receive financial compensation within that spectrum.
- The arbitrator will understand how the law applies to your case, and you can feel confident that you will receive an unbiased assessment of your car accident claims.
- You and your car accident attorney can work together with opposing counsel to choose a suitable arbitrator.
- The evidence that is admissible during arbitration may not be admissible in court.
- Arbitration proceedings are not as formal as a bench trial or jury trial, and arbitration will require less time than a trial.
- The financial costs of an arbitration are less than the costs associated with a trial.
Although these benefits can help you determine if you wish to participate in an arbitration, it is also important to be aware of the negative aspects of arbitration. Understanding arbitration comprehensively will help injured victims learn more about how best to protect their interests.
The Negative Aspects of Arbitration
Arbitration is not perfect. Some negative aspects may make arbitration seem less attractive to those who suffered injuries during an accident. The following are some of the negative aspects of arbitration:
- Juries may provide more financial compensation.
- An arbitrator may not value your claim due to different factors.
- The majority of arbitration proceedings are binding, and these decisions are non-appealable.
Although every injured victim should assess these negative factors, it is also important to consider the costs associated with the trial and the possibility that an injured victim may not recover any damages at trial. Speaking with a skilled personal injury lawyer is the best way for an injured victim to determine the costs and benefits of arbitration.
Every accident case is unique, and the facts and circumstances of your case are not identical to any other case. One element in your case can make arbitration less likely or more likely to occur. Also, it may be possible to resolve your case through settlement negotiation or mediation.
Contact John Foy & Associates Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
Arbitration is a complex process with which many injured victims may be unfamiliar. Speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand how arbitration proceedings unfold.
Contact John Foy & Associates today to schedule a free consultation. We have decades of experience representing clients in accident cases. Reach out to us to learn more about how you can stand up and assert your legal rights in Georgia.