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What Is Arbitration?

When navigating a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll hear legal terms you have likely never heard before. These words can sound confusing and make your lawsuit feel overwhelming. In this article, we take discuss arbitration. What is arbitration? Why should I consider arbitration for my personal injury claim?

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Arbitration In Personal Injury Claims

Arbitration is a word that is relevant in a lot of personal injury cases. You may want to learn more about what it means and if it benefits your specific case.

Binding And Non-Binding Arbitration

There are 2 types of arbitration – binding and non-binding. There is a big difference in both types. Let’s take a look at each.

Binding Arbitration

In binding arbitration, both sides are “bound” to the decision of the arbitrator. The decision is legally binding. This means that once a decision is reached during arbitration, that decision is final. There is no room for any further debate or dispute after the decision is made.

Non-Binding Arbitration

Non-binding arbitration is a little more forgiving. Neither side is forced to accept the arbitrator’s decision. Although either side can reject the decision, the most common outcome of non-binding arbitration is a settlement agreement.

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Arbitration Instead Of Court

Arbitration is an agreement between two parties to use a neutral, outside party to resolve a dispute. In personal injury cases, arbitration is often used to settle a case without going to court.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Are Expensive

Going to court can be a long and expensive process for both sides. Both sides often need to spend money on expert testimony, printed materials, and more.

Arbitration Is Often Faster Than A Lawsuit

Many people in the midst of a personal injury lawsuit look to arbitration to settle their case in a quicker, and less stressful manner. Whether or not you should look to arbitration in your case depends on the details. 

Advantages Of Arbitration

Arbitration is a great way to resolve a dispute without going to court. There are multiple advantages of choosing arbitration over litigation. A few advantages of arbitration are:

Faster Than Going To Court

The dispute will be resolved much quicker – taking cases to court often results in a longer resolution period. Just setting a court date may take months. Arbitration will not resolve a dispute immediately, but the time of resolution will be much faster. 

Cheaper Than A Court Case

Arbitration is cheaper than court – while there is an arbitration fee paid to the arbitrator, this is much less expensive than court fees. Preparing for a trial takes a lot of time, which equates to higher legal fees. Additionally, having witnesses and evidence presented in court may tack on extra expenses as well.

Arbitration Is Neutral

Both parties will consent to the chosen arbitrator – since an arbitrator is meant to be a neutral party, both parties involved in the dispute will have a say in choosing the arbitrator. This will ensure a fair and equal process. 

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Disadvantages Of Arbitration

While there are a lot of benefits to arbitration, that does not mean that it is best for every situation. These are some common disadvantages to arbitration:


Arbitration is less regulated than the court system. Since there is no official set of standards when it comes to arbitration, the results can vary. You are putting a lot of trust in the arbitrator to determine a fair outcome to the dispute. 

Not Always Cost-Effective

Arbitration is not cost-effective if there is a minimal reward. Though arbitration is relatively cheap compared to going to court, it is still costly. Going through arbitration is not cost-effective if the reward is minimal. 

Evidence Is Limited

Discovery is limited in arbitration. This means there is less room for evidence. During court proceedings, witnesses talk at length to provide detailed evidence. This brings forward necessary information. However, during arbitration, witnesses are generally not allowed and evidence is not as important. 

No Appeals In Arbitration

In binding arbitration there are no appeals. While this is a good thing if you are satisfied with the result, it is not a good thing if you believe the result is unfair. 

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Is Arbitration Right For Your Case?

Arbitration may be a great solution for your case. It is worth understanding arbitration so you can weigh the potential pros and cons. Talk to your lawyer and trust them to help you make the right decisions when it comes to your situation. Every case is unique and there is not a one size fits all solution.

Personal Injury Law Firm

At Kane and Silverman, we are dedicated to helping injured people. We want to get you the compensation that you deserve. Contact us to schedule your free legal consultation today.