Arbitration is similar to a trial setting, but there is no jury and certain court formalities are not required. An arbitrator will be appointed and will act like a judge and jury in the case. He or she will decide what evidence may be presented and will render a decision in the case. If there is a potential conflict of interest, all parties are permitted to request a different arbitrator.
Compulsory Arbitration in Superior Court Cases
Depending on the amount that is in controversy, Arizona Superior Courts may require the parties to arbitrate their case. For example, Maricopa County requires that all cases requesting an award less than $50,000.00 arbitrate their claims. After the arbitrator makes a decision, the parties may appeal that decision to the trial court. However, if the appeal does not result in at least a 23% more favorable decision, the party appealing the decision is required to pay the costs and attorneys’ fees of the other party. It should be noted that the compulsory arbitration limits differ from county to county.
Arbitration by Agreement or Contract
Arbitration may be required according to the terms of an agreement or contract, such as an insurance policy. Many times, an insurance policy, whether automobile or homeowners, may provide, in the event of a disagreement with an insurance company, that the insured request arbitration to resolve the differences. This often occurs in the case of an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim.
The parties to the arbitration usually either agree to an arbitrator or appoint their own, and the two appointed arbitrators select a neutral third arbitrator. The arbitrators are usually experienced attorneys in the personal injury field. The decision of the arbitrator(s) is usually final and binding. In this type of arbitration, the party splits the cost of employing the arbitrator to decide the matter.
We represent clients throughout the state of Arizona and are ready to assist you through this difficult time. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, please call the Law Offices of Michael Cordova at 602-265-6700. Our Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyers offer a free, personal, and confidential consultation to answer any questions and to explain your rights.