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How Arbitration Plays a Role in a Southwest Florida Personal Injury Case


Arbitration is something that is gaining popularity in Florida personal injury cases. Many companies actually prefer arbitration hearings so they can resolve disputes and address claims in court through litigation. This allows for lower costs, more convenience, and a much faster process. However, there are also some downsides.

Here is how arbitration plays a role in a Sarasota/Bradenton Florida personal injury case.

What Is Arbitration?

Arbitration is simply an alternative form of dispute resolution and allows parties to resolve disputes outside of the judiciary court system. The disputes are typically decided by one or two people who render the arbitration reward.

The Pros of Arbitration

There are many pros when it comes to the arbitration process in Florida.

• Efficient and Flexible: with arbitration, you can find a faster resolution, and they are much easier to schedule. Disputes are normally resolved sooner compared to several years that some cases may spend to get a trial date.

• More Simplified: it is also a much more simplified and less complicated process. With litigation, you will find an almost endless path of papers and motions. It is easier to admit evidence, and most matters are taken care of with phone calls to the arbitrator.

• More Privacy: with arbitration, cases are also kept out of the public eye because they lead to private resolutions and are kept confidential.

• Choose the Judge: you will also find impartiality because the parties typically choose the arbitrator together, so it will be someone impartial and unbiased.

• Less Expensive: Sometimes, you will also find that arbitration may prove less expensive than litigation. Since the disputes are often resolved much sooner, there is less to pay out in attorney fees.

The Cons of Arbitration

Now, here are a few of the cons you may run into with arbitration in Florida.

• A Question of Fairness: if it turns out that arbitration is mandatory due to a contract, then you lose the flexibility of choosing arbitration based on mutual consent. One party can force the other into arbitration.

• No Appeals: this isn’t a downside as long as you find the decision has been favorable. However, if not, you will find that arbitration is binding, and you cannot appeal the decision.

• Unpredictable: Since arbitration doesn’t follow the rules of litigation and the rules that come along with the procedure and evidence, then you may find unconventional outcomes that may be unpredictable.

The Arbitration Process

Now that you know the pros and cons, let’s take a closer look at the arbitration process in Florida so you know what to expect.

Selection Process

An arbitrator is selected. It will be someone who is knowledgeable on the subject and specializes in the area. The arbitrator is pulled from a list of neutral candidates. Once selected, there will be a preliminary hearing to finalize everything, including the witnesses and evidence.

The Hearing

An arbitration hearing is going to be less formal than what you would expect during litigation. The location for the hearing and schedule is also going to be much more flexible. Each side will have their chance to present their case and present any evidence supporting their case. Once the hearing is done, the arbitrator will then deliberate.

The Award

Once the arbitrator has reached a decision, they will then explain the arbitration award. There is limited recourse for this decision, and rarely can you find the chance to appeal the decision. You will be required by law to adhere to the decision of the arbitrator.

As you can see, the arbitration process in Florida certainly has its advantages over litigation. So, it is up to you and your personal injury attorney to decide the best course of action for your personal injury case.

Stephen M. Fernandez developed a strong belief in justice and fairness in public policy while earning his Political Science degree prior to attending law school. Since joining the Florida Bar Association in 2004, Stephen Fernandez has combined his background in public policy, business administration and civil law to serve as a highly effective trial lawyer fighting for Florida's injured, working hard every day to make sure his clients get what they are owed.

How Arbitration Plays a Role in a Southwest Florida Personal Injury Case

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh




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