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.

What is Arbitration

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

Oregon Attorney Ryan Hilts

Ryan is a member of the Oregon State Bar, the Washington State Bar, and the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association.

Ryan was named a “Rising Star” e for six years in a row, and recently a "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyers Magazine. In his early years as attorney, he was also listed as one of Oregon's Outstanding Young Lawyers by Portland Monthly Magazine and the American Registry.

Learn More About Ryan

Featured Services

Personal Injury
We take the stress out of personal injury cases so you can focus on getting better. Call today for a free consultation.

Car Accidents
We specialize in auto accident cases. We are skilled at negotiating with insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve.

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If you were injured as a result of a careless driver while you were a pedestrian, you may have a claim against the driver. Read more about our practice areas.
My name is Linda and my son in law recommended Ryan Hilts. I did not think I needed a lawyer. My son in law said "If you don't win you don't pay". That made a lot of sense to me. After calling Ryan I realized how comforting it is to have a lawyer. I was in a car accident. The driver was drunk and hit me and took off. A hit and run accident. Ryan told me by Oregon Law I was able to go to the doctors. I was able to get the much needed help. My Chiropractor was amazing. It took time to heal. Ryan was always available and always called me back, when I had any questions. He is a wonderful family man. A man of integrity. He also sent emails and texts to wish our family well on all the Holidays. He went above and beyond what was expected. My case was won without a doubt. I would definitely go back to Ryan for any lawyer needs. He is a good man and you can trust him. Thank you Ryan for everything, words are not enough to express all you did for us.

G. & L. S.

I was recommended to Mr. Hilts by a friend when I had my car accident. I was very impressed with his knowledge and the way he guided me through the process. I appreciated that he always returned my calls and kept me informed about the progress of my case.


I could never say enough good things about Ryan. He was always there to take my calls and answer all of my questions. I really felt like he was working for me; like I was his top priority.


Ryan is a terrific lawyer and a better person. He went above and beyond to reach a settlement in my case and believed in it when no one else did. He’s very intelligent and caring and is always putting the best interests of his clients before his own. Ryan knew more about my case than I even did. He is truly dedicated to his clients, and I can not explain how much I honestly appreciated that. I recommend that you give him a shot if you need to hire an attorney. He won’t let you down.


It was our good fortune to have Ryan Hilts as our attorney. Ryan helped our children avoid a lawsuit and get a successful settlement. He taught us so much. He represented our family with integrity.