What Happens When My Personal Injury Case Goes To Arbitration?

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What Happens When My Personal Injury Case Goes To Arbitration?


Arbitration is an alternate form of litigation sometimes used for personal injury cases. In the state of Oregon, arbitration is mandatory when there is a claim for injury and the demand is for $50,000 or less. Additionally, arbitration is the preferred method when a claim can be brought directly against the insurance company, as opposed to an individual.

There are some differences between arbitration and jury trial. For instance, if your case were going to trial it would most likely last two or more days, depending on the number of exhibits and witnesses presented. Arbitration is much shorter and will typically be resolved within one day.

In a jury trial, the judge will referee the jury, and the jury decides the outcome of your case. When you go to arbitration, the arbitrator is the judge and the jury and will make all of the decisions regarding your case and any potential compensation.

If your case goes to a jury trial, you may not know which trial judge is assigned until just before the trial begins. Conversely, when a car accident case is arbitrated you and your attorney are directly involved in the selection process of the arbitrator. Most arbitrators are also experienced personal injury attorneys or are retired judges.

Trials are conducted at the courthouse for the County in which the claim is filed. They are open to the public, typically have several court staff members in attendance, and is recorded. Personal injury arbitrations are not recorded and are usually held in a private conference room, which is only accessible to those who are directly involved with the case.

The results of a jury trial are binding, unless a legal error was made in which case trial results can be appealed. Arbitrations, however, can be either binding or non-binding depending on the case. A non-binding arbitration allows the flexibility to file an appeal and have the case retried before a jury.

Any litigation is going to be expensive. However, arbitration can be accomplished for a lot less cost that a jury trial.

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