At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. we understand that just because you have been hurt in an accident and have a personal injury claim that does not mean you look forward to going to court. Using a type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) may cause you less stress while still getting you what you need. Arbitration is a type of ADR that individuals use in place of going to court. The process is a little like a trial but is different enough to allow for less paperwork, court costs, and formalities – all of which can make the process of fighting for recovery a little easier. However, going through arbitration still requires an understanding of the law and strategy. If you have a personal injury claim and you have been approached regarding settling your dispute through arbitration, call the experienced Chicago personal injury attorneys of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today.
During an arbitration hearing, each side presents its argument and evidence to a third-party arbitrator. There may be a panel of arbitrators instead of just one. Arbitrators are usually lawyers who have gone through additional training for the position. You and the other side may have a say in who the arbitrators are. These arbitrators will decide the final judgment after hearing all of the evidence, much like a judge or jury would during court. In most situations, the arbitration agreement is binding like a court ruling.
Benefits of Arbitration
Many people want to go through arbitration because it is faster and cheaper than going to court. Instead of months of discovery, motions, and then finally a trial, you can go through a hearing that lasts a few hours.
Arbitration proceedings and decisions are also not public record like those of a trial. You might prefer arbitration because it gives you and your family more confidentiality and privacy.
Disadvantages of Arbitration
Despite not having all of the rigors and formalities of court, arbitration provides you with a binding agreement. This means you must follow what the arbitrators decide and you have few options for appealing the decision. Once you have gone through arbitration, some situations do not allow you to recover your right to a trial in front of a judge or jury.
Arbitration May be Required
When you are seeking less than $30,000 in damages in a personal injury claim, not including interest on these damages or court costs, you can be assigned to Cook County’s Mandatory Arbitration Program. Your arbitration hearing will be conducted in front of three Illinois attorneys who have taken an arbitration certification program. They will provide a final decision. If you disagree with the outcome, you and your attorney have 30 days to file a rejection, which then allows your case to be heard in court.
Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney Today
Whether or not arbitration is best for your situation can be a difficult decision. Even though it is usually less formal than a trial, it needs to be taken just as seriously. You have the right to have an attorney represent you during arbitration just like you do in court, and you should take advantage of this right.
Call the Chicago injury attorneys of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 600-3727 to learn more about arbitration and settling your dispute out of court.