Arbitration can be an effective method of alternative dispute resolution in some cases, but it is not necessarily designed to help in all situations. There are some advantages in certain instances, but typically the advantages of choosing mediation or actually going through formal litigation can be better because of an opportunity to appeal. Cases that are scheduled for arbitration are not subject to appeal, and many times the final ruling of the arbitrator is what neither party may want or expect. This applies in personal injury cases just as in other civil matters, and it is usually best to leave all options open unless the arbitration process can be approved by all parties as non-binding. While most personal injury law firms will not recommend arbitration when settling a personal injury claim, an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer will understand when arbitration could work to the advantage of an injured client.
Disadvantages of Arbitration
It is best to understand the potentially negative outcomes of arbitration before agreeing to the process. One primary problem is that a standard arbitration case will result in a
- Arbitrator conflict of interest
- Judicial ethical violations
- Errors in applying the law
- Violations of public policy
Potential Advantages of Arbitration
Even with the downside of binding arbitration, the ADR method can still be a good avenue to avoid litigation when it can be agreed upon as a non-binding decision from the court. Some cases will be forced into arbitration when a governing contract has an arbitration clause, but this is not always the case in a personal injury claim. This is especially true in a state like North Carolina that uses contributory negligence law in evaluating injury claim liability. North Carolina laws on arbitration exclude any claimant with even a 1% assessment of personal fault of causation from being financially compensated for the injuries, including medical bills. An arbitrator could rule that claims from the respondent negligent party regarding comparative negligence are actually invalid, which could then result in full payment of damages submitted by the injured plaintiff attorney.
The Importance of a Jury of Peers in a Personal Injury Trial
Auto Accident Cases And Arbitration
Arbitration is rarely a good decision for injured drivers in North Carolina due to the comparative negligence law or for injured claimants in a premises liability case. However, injured
Not all injury law firms will recommend arbitration as a method of settling a denied personal injury claim, but it can assuredly have advantages in some scenarios. It is always important to select an experienced personal injury lawyer in North Carolina that understands what to expect from the defense in an arbitration case. Experience can be the difference between a whole maximum settlement and possibly no settlement at all.