If you have suffered significant bodily injury due to the fault of another person or party - for example, as a result of a car accident, slip and fall, dog bite, or other type of incident - you may be curious about how an arbitration clause might affect your claim.
An arbitration clause is an agreement that may be included in a contract to force parties involved in a dispute to work toward a reasonable settlement outside of court. The main purpose of mandatory arbitration clauses is to give the parties involved an opportunity to resolve the dispute without incurring the costs typically associated with litigation.
If you have been injured in an accident and the at-fault party's insurance company is trying to force you into arbitration to resolve the claim, you may benefit from the assistance of a qualified Seattle personal injury attorney. In the meantime, here's more about mandatory arbitration clauses and how they may affect your claim.
What Is Arbitration? When Is It Mandatory?
Mandatory arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Various forms of alternative dispute resolution are used as tools to increase the chances of an out of court settlement, which is often in the best interests of the parties involved due to the high costs associated with actual litigation.
The purpose of Mandatory Arbitration is to reduce court congestion, expedite the litigation process, and to provide a cost effective resolution of civil insurance claims. In Washington, most of the superior courts have adopted a program known as “mandatory arbitration.”
Arbitration is another way to resolve a case instead of going to trial. With arbitration, the court appoints an “arbitrator” who will decide the case by listening to testimony, reviewing evidence, and then issuing an award. The arbitrator is usually an experienced attorney or retired judge.