The Role Of Arbitration In Resolving Your Car Accident Case

Posted on: 25 June 2015

When you file an insurance claim, you should be prepared to negotiate and, if necessary, litigate with an insurance company. Just because an insurance company decides to award you less money than what you think you deserve does not mean you have to settle. Instead, you may take your case to court and allow a judge to review the facts of the case and determine what a fair payment would be. Taking a case to court can be expensive in terms of court fees, so you might instead decide to arbitrate your case, but what exactly does that mean?

How Does Arbitration Work?

When you decide to use arbitration to resolve a case, you and the insurance company decide on an arbitrator. This person could be a retired judge or a respected lawyer, and both parties agree to abide by the arbitrator's decision. You and the insurance company will then have the chance to present your case to the arbitrator. You will have an opening statement and the opportunity to provide evidence, but the whole proceedings should be less formal than they would be in court. 

Keys to Winning Your Case in Arbitration

There are differences between arbitration and litigation. To have a chance at winning, you need to understand what these differences are:

1. High/Low Agreements: Many insurances will require a high/low agreement before they will take part in arbitration. Basically, the insurance company agrees to not pay less than a specific sum or more. The arbitrator does not know about this agreement, so even if you are awarded less than the minimum, you will still get the minimum, or if you are awarded more than the maximum, you will not get more. 

2. Presenting Evidence: You don't have to have experts to decipher your evidence during arbitration. To win a case, however, you need to be able to clearly make your case. Pictures and documents will help to bring the facts of the case to life. Make sure you keep payment records and document the accident scene, your treatment, and recovery with pictures. These will help you to weave the facts of your case into a coherent and convincing story. 

You should not be scared of arbitration; reduced court costs can help you to bring home more money. But, you should have a healthy respect for bringing a case to arbitration. Although you are not required to hire a lawyer to arbitrate a case, you should. Lawyers, like Jacobs & Barney LLC, can coach you on how to present your testimony.