Following a vehicle accident, you more than likely want to get payment for your injuries and damages and move on with your life. Unfortunately, a quick resolution is not always possible. If there is a dispute between you and the other driver about damages, arbitration is a good way to reach a resolution.

What Is Needed for Arbitration?

In order to head to arbitration, you and the other driver or the insurance company have to agree to it. No one can be forced to participate. Once both parties have agreed to attend, there are certain things you both must work out. 

One of the biggest issues you have to settle is the selection of the arbitrator. In most cases, the arbitrator is a lawyer or a retired judge. In some communities, there are arbitration groups that can fill the position for you. 

You also have to determine how arbitration is going to be paid. The arbitrator could charge a flat fee or opt to charge by the hour. Both parties could agree to split the costs evenly or decide that the loser will pay the entire fee. Just be sure that it is clearly determined who is responsible to avoid further conflict.

What Can You Expect?

One surprise that you might find is that arbitration is similar to an actual trial. However, arbitration is a lot less formal and there is more leeway given to make your point. 

Both sides can make an opening statement. During your opening, you can explain your case to the arbitrator. Once the opening statements are heard, you and the other party can start to present your evidence to back up your cases. 

It is important to note that during arbitration, both parties have the right to cross-examine the other party's witnesses. Even though a lawyer is not required for arbitration, it is a very good idea for you to practice your case and cross-examining with a lawyer. He or she can help you hone your case. 

Once both sides have presented their case, the arbitrator will make a decision. In some instances, the arbitrator might not make a decision right then. If he or she has decided to wait on a decision, it will be sent by mail later. The arbitrator will let both parties know when to expect a decision.

Whether or not arbitration is right for you is a personal decision. Talk to vehicle accident lawyers` before agreeing to it to ensure you have considered all the pros and cons carefully.