COVID-19 Notice: Malman Law’s staff is working at office & from home so that we can do our part to fight the spread of this virus within our community.Learn more
Please fill out the form below and a representative at Malman Law will contact you within 24 hours to discuss the specifics of your personal injury case.
Friday, April 6, 2018
Most personal injury cases settle out of court, but how they settle can vary. Some cases end during essential negotiations and often before the courts are involved. Other times, the case goes through alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration.
Today we focus on the use of arbitration in personal injury cases – and how your case might require arbitration, the process of it, and potential outcomes.
To ease the burden on the court’s schedule, some personal injury attorneys might opt for arbitration over a traditional trial. Arbitration still puts both sides in control of the outcome – compared to the unpredictable nature of a jury trial.
This legal proceeding is informal, and both sides can dispute, offer testimony, provide evidence, and work alongside a neutral third party known as an arbitrator. The arbitrator is the “referee” of the process. Typically, your arbitrator is a retired judge or an attorney that has vast experience in personal injury cases. They are not affiliated with either side and instead, help facilitate an agreement and ultimately decide on the matter.
After both sides have presented their evidence, the arbitrator will decide on the case. Arbitration might be binding or non-binding. If it is binding, that means you have entered a court-ordered arbitration (which makes it mandatory), and the arbitrator’s decision is final.
If the case is entering non-binding arbitration, then both sides have the right to reject the arbitrator’s decision. However, the case does not restart. Instead, it proceeds to a jury trial.
Most personal injury cases use mediation or a jury trial, but some will use arbitration. Medical malpractice claims, especially against health insurance companies or hospitals will typically require arbitration. That is because when you accepted treatment from that provider, you most likely signed a binding arbitration with them. Therefore, you must go to arbitration instead of court or mediation.
Some car accident cases will go to arbitration, especially if the claim is filed under underinsured or uninsured motorist insurance. Most insurance companies have provisions in these policies specifically that require arbitration if the insured and the insurance company refuse to settle.
If a contract requires arbitration, that means you are likely encountering binding arbitration. With binding arbitration, you are stuck with whatever decision the arbitrator decides unless both reject it and move to a jury trial.
During arbitration, you and your attorney will be in the same room as the arbitrator and the defense. You will sit across from one another at a conference table, and there is a court reporter present because this will be part of the court record.
The arbitrator goes over the rules of arbitration in the beginning, and they will require that you are sworn in to tell the truth as part of standard courtroom procedures. If you bring witnesses to your arbitration, then those witnesses will be sworn in at the start too.
From here, your case goes through several key steps, including:
Just like in a courtroom, your attorney and the other side’s attorney will have their opening statement. While you have a more informal setting, arbitrators do not want lengthy introductions. Therefore, most attorneys will keep their opening statement short and succinct. The statement does not discuss case details or evidence. Instead, it addresses the date of the accident, injuries, and their severity, and overall the compensation you hope to receive at the end of the proceeding.
Sometimes the defense will not provide an opening statement until after you have presented your evidence and it is their turn. They do this so that they can adjust their statement after seeing the evidence revealed in your case.
After opening statements, the plaintiff’s side shows the evidence. The evidence supports anything in the opening statement that was said but also establishes the negligence, injuries, and proof of damages.
Any detail given to the arbitrator should be backed by tangible evidence – whether that is a photograph, medical record, or witness testimony. Any documents will be given to the arbitrator as they hear the evidence, and they will review them.
After you have represented the evidence, testified yourself, and your witnesses have completed their testimonies, the insurance company or defense attorney has the chance to ask you questions in front of the arbitrator. Some arbitrators will skip this phase or require that the insurance company filter questions through them directly.
Questions are related to the evidence only. They are not personal like deposition questions and can only be used to question your evidence or a witness’s statement.
Next, the defense has a chance to present their case. If they reserved the right to make a statement later, then now is the time to hear their opening statement. After the attorney for the defense provides his or her opening statement, they then start using their evidence to rebut your side.
At the end of their presentation, you too may ask questions. Your attorney will look for holes or items that are questioned in the presentation, then present these questions at the end.
Just like in a trial, both sides will present their closing remarks. Closing remarks touch on what was presented with the evidence, your injuries, and again why you are seeking compensation – and the preferred amount.
After closing remarks are made, the arbitrator will end the hearing. They will gather any evidence for further review, and the hearing ends.
You do not receive a decision that same day. Instead, you will receive the arbitrator’s decision in the mail. Sometimes, the arbitrator may request additional documentation that they feel is necessary to make their decision. However, you will not hear from them again until you receive the decision.
Arbitrator’s decisions typically take one to two weeks. Depending on the type of arbitration, the decision may be final, and you may have no options to appeal that decision. Your attorney will discuss your options after you receive the arbitrator’s decision. If you are awarded compensation, then your attorney can file the necessary documents to collect that compensation.
Most attorneys try to settle an injury claim without mediation or arbitration. This is because they remain in control of the outcome, while arbitration is not always predictable. However, there is a place for arbitration in personal injury cases, and there are also disadvantages to going through it.
The cons of arbitration vary depending on the case. However, the biggest disadvantage is that you may be stuck with the decision, and that means limited recourse if you disagree. If you were to go to trial, you have the option to appeal. Arbitration is also questionable when it comes to the objectivity of the arbitrator. You may not be able to pick the arbitrator, and the outcome can be highly unpredictable depending on who the court assigns.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an accident, you should not worry about how your case will be resolved. Instead, contact an attorney from Malman Law.
Schedule a free consultation and let our team work to secure the compensation you deserve. Call us at (888) 625-6265 or request more information online.
They are very helpful, and when it comes to getting things done with your case I had the pleasure of working with Jason Kellerman he was awesome I highly recommend them.
- Britany Weaver
I’m very pleased to recommend Malman Law to my friends and relatives! I have to mention how efficient and professional in dealing with my case has been with everyone that I’ve been in contact with at Malman Law. Mrs. Sabo is outstanding as well as her secretary and assistant in responding quickly to any of my questions or concerns. This firm has gone above and beyond to keep me updated and get answers to my questions at any time, weekends included! Malman Law rules in my opinion!
- Cheryl Wagemann
I’ve been knowing about this Law firm for many years through friends, referrals & advertisements, never I thought I would need their services because I believed things & situations don’t happen to me like this, long story short I was in a situation that I needed help & advice!!! In the right direction, I connected with the Firm & a very patient, understanding professional woman by the name of Margie assisted me in what I needed 🙂 Thank you I will refer as I was as referred as well This firm really does care!
- Elvira G.
I was rear-ended by a semi-truck on my way to work. I was transported to the hospital and my car was totaled. In the aftermath, Dan Petrich and Anna Schmidt from Malman Law helped me get set up with physical therapy and negotiated with the insurance companies to make sure the resulting settlement would cover my medical bills and a rental car until I could get a new car. I would highly recommend their services.
would do everything they could for me.
- Tony S.
I contacted Malman Lawafter my work injury. So professional from my first phone call. Mr. Malman’s investigator, Dan, came right out to our home. Everything was explained in detail so I know what to expect during this process. I certainly recommend anyone ever in need of a personal injury lawyer to call Malman Law. Truly the best!! Thanks, everyone!
- Devin Jones
Attorney Greg Lamorena was my lawyer when I slipped and fell. He kept me updated throughout the case and was always available to talk when I had questions. He is a great lawyer and could not be happier about my settlement!
- Annie Ong
Alexis was the attorney on my case! She kept me in the loop about everything with my case. If I had any concerns I was able to contact her and she’ll answer my questions right away. If you’re interested in working with Malman Law I would highly recommend Alexis she was GREAT. I would highly recommend Malman Law if you’re ever in need!
- Eugenia Cathery
They are so efficient and professional. Always available to help. Attorney Boyer was great and very good with my case. I really appreciate Malman Law. I gave them 5 stars because there is nothing higher.
- Omolewa Snyder
I have had an amazing experience with Malman law so far. From the start, Dan was super easy to work with, got me the medical attention I needed, and fast. Couldn’t ask for better communication. Neil Kilcoyne has been nothing but the best I could not recommend a better attorney. Malman Law is a 10 out of 10 law firm.
- Trevor Harris
Hi, I just want to acknowledge Jay McCarron, Kelly & the firm at Malman Law for representing me as they continue to work on my case. Thanks for keeping me updated & responding quickly to any of my questions or concerns. I would highly recommend you and your firm to friends & family. E. P.
- Ernest Pitts
Alexis was the attorney on my case and she was GREAT. She made sure I was updated on everything about my case. I would highly recommend Malman Law if you’re ever in need.
- Ariel Fleming
I had the best experience with Jason and Jay attorneys from Malman Law they really went all the way to settle my case I’m telling you there just the best!! Recommend 100%!
- Carmen Rivera
Adam Meadow acted as the attorney for a family member who was in a car accident. He was highly personable and actively listened to our issues throughout the litigation process. He was able to get us a settlement for the reparations of the accident. We would recommend their services!
- Greg Gustafson
Excellent customer service and a great experience. Malman Law handled the whole process and it was very smooth. The settlement was a great success. I would choose Malman Law again in the future.
- Malak St.Clair
Helped me out of a big jam when my auto was hit twice when and the other drivers had no insurance. Adam Meadow is the only Lawyer I will call for helping me and my daughter.
- Devri Lott
I cannot give enough praise to the team at Malman Law, for helping with my case. My children were involved in an auto collision and the attorney Adam along with his paralegal Michelle worked diligently until the matter was resolved and my entire family was happy. I would definitely recommend Malman Law for anybody going through legal troubles.
- Adrian Lopez
A close friend recommended me to Malman Law. I currently have a case with them due to a car accident I had and ever since the accident they have been taking care of everything for me without me having to worry about anything. They took care of the medical bills & helped me get physical therapy right away. I highly recommend them.
- Vanessa Leon
Bella Feinstein, Jason Kellerman, and Terry Davey have been instrumental in helping me through many difficult situations. Not only did they work to get my mom a settlement, but they have also continued to help me through the legal process of relocating my mom to a different state. I’m very grateful for their hard work and good advice.
- Nyah Vuljanic
This law firm is the best they got me paid and Malman Law kept in constant communication with me which meant a lot to me I would highly recommend this law firm to anyone who. In the position, they are awesome sincerely. Jeff walker
- Jeff Walker
Mr. Kellerman of Malman Law shows compassion for his clients. Returns calls and emails promptly, he takes time to listen to his clients, and gather facts accordingly.
- Steve Acosta
Everyone at Malman Law made me feel welcomed and heard. My lawyer, Adam Meadow, as well as staff, kept me up to date and were more than happy to do so! I would highly recommend their services. Also- a plus is many employees are fluent in Spanish. My experience was easy and worthwhile.
- Adrianna Gomez
Dan Petrich was the best man for my case of falling through my porch of an apartment I rented. He made sure I got what I deserved not only $ wise but medical wise and that my hospital bills and Dr bills were left at a $0 balance before closing my case. I was definitely happy and glad I choose him. Thank you. 5 stars
- Jose Cruz
Steve Malman helped me with my auto case. He quickly responded and answered any and all the questions I had. My case was a success as well as 2 other family members I recommended to him won their cases as well. Definitely a 5 star!
- Meagan Cruz
- Eddie Villarreal
I am very impressed with Malman Law and my experience with Tiffany Alberty. She was very professional and knowledgeable. I appreciate the great communication and never felt out of the loop. She was very patient and hard working on my case. I would highly recommend this firm. Thanks for the hard work and all your help!
- Madissen Miller
Malman Law is definitely professionals and skilled at what they do. Mr. Adam Meadow always kept me informed and never hesitated to answer my questions and was open to hearing my concerns. Wouldn’t think twice about referring them to family and friends. Thank you to all at Malman Law!
- Christina Ocon
Mailman Law, Excellent firm!! Tiffany Alberty and her assistant Margie Gallegos were super efficient and knowledgeable. Great communication—very quick response and great follow up! My case was resolved sooner than expected. I highly recommend them!
- Adriana Martinez
So glad I contacted Malman Law regarding my accident. Professional and caring. Thank you Mr. Malman. I most definitely recommend to anyone if you need the best to call Malman Law!!!
- Virgil Sanner
I really appreciated and enjoyed Yennin Calderon’s service. I called asking questions and she was so helpful. Not only did she answer all my questions and concerns. It was also a bonus that she was bilingual in Spanish! Loved the warmth she brought. Thank you!
- Jazlyn Caraballo
My experience with Malman Law was great. I worked with Attorney Tiffany Alberty and her assistant Margie. Both communicated what was going on with my case, explained the next steps, and got my case resolved early. I would highly recommend Malman Law.
- Ashley Jenkins
ALL FIELDS REQUIRED
2 years ago I was involved in a trucking accident involving a 14-wheeler truck that nearly disabled me for life. Steve fought to make sure that I received the most possible compensation for my injuries. I was about to take the insurance company’s lowball offer, but decided to call Steve first – it was the best decision I’ve made yet
NOAH TAFFELPersonal Injury Victim