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Arbitration: What is It and How Does it Affect My Case?

If you or someone you know has been involved in any type of legal dispute, you may have heard the term “arbitration” being tossed around. What exactly is arbitration? If you are involved in a Nevada car accident, does arbitration apply to your case? Below is some basic information on this form of alternative dispute resolution and how it may apply to your personal injury case if you are involved in a Nevada accident. 

Arbitration Explained

Arbitration is a type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Essentially, arbitration is another option to have the case resolved instead of going to trial. In fact, arbitration is a pre-trial proceeding; it is one of the last legal options before moving forward with a trial in the courtroom. Arbitration is a meeting between the parties involved — the plaintiff(s) and the defendant(s) — in a legal dispute. Arbitration can save the parties time, money, and stress if it is successful and results in a settlement. 

Arbitration involves a third-party neutral, typically a former judge or lawyer, who presides over the arbitration. Similar to a judge in a trial, an arbitrator has discovery powers allowing him or her to review the needs of each party. Likewise, an arbitrator can determine the outcome of the arbitration and award damages. 

How Arbitration Differs from Trial

Many personal injury victims bring in attorneys to represent them during arbitration — a first choice for many lawyers instead of going straight to trial. There are several reasons why arbitration may be appropriate in a personal injury case. First, an arbitration is less formal, occurring in an office rather than a courtroom. Second, the costs involved in arbitration can be significantly lower than a trial. Third, arbitration does not require that the parties reach a settlement or resolve the case. Fourth, the results of the arbitration can be binding (creating a court order) or non-binding. 

Mediation

Another popular form of ADR is mediation. Mediation is similar to arbitration in regards to formality, speed, and costs. Unlike an arbitrator, however, a mediator does not have the power to make a decision for the parties. Instead, the mediator only has the ability to facilitate a settlement between the parties. 

Personal Injury Cases

When it comes to alternative dispute resolution, personal injury cases end up in arbitration or mediation much more often than they end up inside a courtroom for trial. In fact, most personal injury cases are settled during pretrial negotiations. The most frequently used method of ADR is mediation because this allows the settlement decisions to ultimately rest on the parties. Some Nevada personal injury cases, such as medical malpractice cases, often require arbitration due to contractual agreements. Because arbitration is similar enough to a courtroom trial, it is critical to retain an experienced attorney to handle your personal injury matter. 

Schedule a Consultation

The attorneys at H&P Law can handle the difficult and important steps that are required for your personal injury case no matter what phase of claim. We will push for the best result in your case — whether that means settling during presuit negotiations, engaging in alternative dispute resolution, or moving forward with trial. To learn more about how our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you, contact our Las Vegas or Henderson office today.

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