I was injured on the job, and I filed a claim against my employer. However, my employment contract contains an Arbitration Agreement, what does this mean?
Instead of going to court and having your claim heard and decided by a judge, you agree to “arbitrate” your claim. Arbitration is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). While similar to a judicial proceeding, going to arbitration is not the same thing as going to court.
In arbitration, a neutral third-party, that is, a person who is not associated with you or the defendant, listens to arguments and reviews the evidence from both sides. The arbitrator then decides the outcome of the claim. Arbitrators awards and decisions can be binding or non-binding on the parties. This is decided prior to starting the arbitration. Almost always, the type of arbitration you “agree to” is specifically named in the Arbitration Agreement.
How is this different than going to court?
Arbitration takes place outside of the courts. In comparison to challenging the rulings of a court, there are limited rights of review and appeal of arbitration awards. Also, arbitrations are not governed by the same rules of evidence and procedure as judicial proceeding, though both parties can agree to apply the same rules. Further, information about the types, amounts, and reasoning for the decisions in previous arbitrations is limited, while almost every judicial proceeding is recoded and open to the public.
It is important to find an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in all forms of dispute resolution.
To learn more about your legal rights after a work-related accident, click here. To speak with one of our experienced attorneys, call us at 877-724-7800 now.