Would You Rather Have a Jury or an Arbitrator Decide Your Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If you have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit it may be that you have an option to have an arbitrator decide your case rather than a jury. Is that in your favor? Which option should you choose? The answer is not as simple as you may think. Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of both options and then contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 if you are in need of a free case evaluation from a highly-experienced personal injury attorney.
What is Arbitration?
First, let us cover what arbitration is and what you can expect during the process. It is an alternative dispute resolution option that involves a third party who sits down with you and the other side to come up with a resolution. This third-party is unbiased and neutral – they are known as the arbitrator. In many ways, arbitration is similar to a trial but it is not quite as formal.
There Are Advantages to Arbitration
There are a number of advantages to choosing arbitration over a jury trial. First, it is generally much faster than going through the process of litigation. This can be important when you are dealing with huge medical bills and do not want to wait for the potential years it can take to get through the litigation process.
Second, there is a lot more flexibility to craft an arbitration result that both you and the at-fault party will e happy with. In most cases, it is less expensive to go through arbitration than it is to go to trial. Both parties choose the arbitration to ensure that there is a much lower chance of a conflict of interest. Finally, keep in mind that while trials are public, arbitration is confidential.
There Are Two Types of Arbitration
Before choosing between arbitration and a jury trial, it is important to know that there are two types of arbitration. First, there is binding arbitration, which means that whatever decision the arbitrator makes is the final decision in the case. Non-binding arbitration means that either or both parties can reject the arbitrator’s decision and go to trial.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Going to Trial
There are of course advantages to taking the case to trial too. Remember that at trial, there are strict sets of rules, which can be either a pro or con depending on the specific evidence you want to have admitted to excluded. Judges are assigned – not selected – so you do not have any control over who will be hearing your case. Finally, the trial process can take a long time.
That said, if you have a very strong case then going to trial may be the better option to get the results you want to see. If you are not sure which option is best for you then you should talk to a personal injury attorney who can weigh the pros and cons and give you the information you need to make the most informed decision.