Handling a personal injury claim in Las Vegas, Nevada takes an understanding of a few basic legal terms and processes. One is arbitration. This is a type of meeting between the parties involved in a case. It is a form of alternative dispute resolution, meaning an alternative to going to trial. Arbitration could save a plaintiff time, money and stress if it succeeds and ends with a settlement. If you are headed into a personal injury case in Nevada, learn what to expect from arbitration.
What Is Arbitration?
Arbitration provides an opportunity for the two parties involved in a personal injury case – the plaintiff and defendant – to settle the claim during pretrial proceedings. Most parties bring their attorneys to represent them during arbitration. It is one of the last options before going to trial. Many accident lawyers will choose arbitration over going straight to trial to try to achieve the plaintiff’s goals without a lengthy, drawn-out court case. Arbitration differs from going to trial in many key ways.
- It is informal, often done in an office rather than a courtroom.
- It does not cost as much in legal fees and expenses as a trial.
- It involves an arbitrator, such as a retired judge or lawyer, to help facilitate a settlement.
- It does not require the participants to reach a settlement or resolve the case.
- Its results can be binding or nonbinding. Binding means it will create a court order.
Arbitration is similar to a trial in that the arbitrator, like a judge, has discovery powers that allow him or her to review the needs of both parties. An arbitrator can also determine the outcome of the meeting, as well as award punitive damages if deemed appropriate – similar to a judge. Another popular type of alternative dispute resolution is mediation. Mediation is similar to arbitration except that a mediator does not have the power to make decisions for the participants. A mediator only has the power of persuasion, not judgment.
How Often Do Personal Injury Cases Go to Arbitration?
Personal injury cases go to arbitration and mediation more often than they go to trial. Personal injury trials are relatively uncommon. Instead, most parties, with assistance from their attorneys, can reach settlement agreements during pretrial negotiations. These negotiations may take the form of alternative dispute resolution. Mediation is the most frequently used option for personal injury claims that do not go straight to trial. Most parties prefer mediation to arbitration due to the settlement decisions ultimately resting with them.
Some cases, however, end up in arbitration instead of mediation. A medical malpractice lawsuit, for example, will often require arbitration in Nevada. When a patient accepts a doctor’s care, he or she almost always signs an arbitration agreement. This agreement requires both parties to go to arbitration rather than mediation or trial should a medical malpractice claim arise. Most agreements require binding arbitration, meaning the parties will have to abide by the decision of the arbitrator. If both parties reject the settlement agreement, however, the case could still proceed to a trial by jury.
Schedule a Free Consultation
Arbitration is similar enough to a personal injury trial to make it important to hire an attorney to represent your rights and interests as a plaintiff. An experienced Las Vegas injury lawyer can handle difficult and important steps for you during arbitration, such as the opening statement, evidence presentation, witness testimonies, cross-examination, and closing remarks.
An experienced lawyer from Claggett & Sykes Law Firm will not allow you to settle for less than your case is worth as your representative. Learn more about arbitration and how we may be able to help you recover after an accident. Schedule a free consultation in Las Vegas today at (702) 333-7777.