Frequently Asked Questions about Arbitration
What is Arbitration?
Arbitration is a form of “Alternative Dispute Resolution” (ADR) in which an arbitrator or arbitration panel hears both sides of a case and makes a decision similar to what a jury would be asked to decide. Both sides present their cases to the arbitrator(s) with opening statements, witness testimony, and closing arguments. A Prehearing Statement of Proof is given to the arbitrators in advance of the arbitration date. It consists of the relevant pleadings, the witness list, and documents associated with the case. Arbitrators are usually well aware of the case before the arbitration begins. Arbitrations are much more informal than a jury trial and usually take place in an office conference room.
Personal Injury Cases Subject to Arbitration in Oregon
In Oregon, there are several ways in which a personal injury claim can be subject to arbitration. The most common probably occurs when lawsuits are filed for total damages under $50,000. These cases require “non-binding” arbitration before trial. After the arbitrator(s) make a decision, either side can appeal the award and continue to the jury trial.
Another form of arbitration is “binding arbitration“. This can occur when both parties agree to it. It is also typically a requirement in uninsured motorist claims (UM) and underinsured motorist claims (UIM). These claims are made against a person’s own insurance policy when the at-fault party does not have any or enough insurance coverage. Every personal Oregon automobile insurance policy has uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Through this coverage, you can make an additional claim in an amount up to your own policy limits. Because you weren’t at fault in causing the accident, making a UM or UIM claim should not affect your insurance rates.
Arbitrators in personal injury claims are often retired judges or experienced attorneys who are well-versed in personal injury claims. Ryan Hilts has been selected and served as arbitrator on multiple cases. He has also been very successful in trying cases at arbitration. If you have any additional arbitration questions, contact Ryan Hilts for a free consultation: (503) 726-5960. You can also email directly at email@example.com.