Home » Las Vegas Personal Injury » Can an arbitration clause affect my personal injury claim?

Si es víctima de una lesión personal, es posible que se sorprenda al saber que una cláusula de arbitraje puede afectar su reclamo. Una cláusula de arbitraje es un acuerdo en un contrato que puede cambiar la forma en que su caso avanza hacia una decisión y una resolución.

El arbitraje puede ser el juicio final en el caso, o puede ser una herramienta para evaluar el caso y ayudar a las partes a trabajar para llegar a un acuerdo. Nevada tiene algunas leyes exclusivas que afectan el arbitraje en casos de lesiones, especialmente en reclamos de accidentes automovilísticos, por lo que la necesidad de un abogado calificado en lesiones personales es esencial cuando existe una cláusula de arbitraje. Esto es lo que necesita saber sobre si una cláusula de arbitraje puede afectar su reclamación por lesiones.

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a different way to resolve a legal dispute than going to a traditional courtroom. Arbitration uses a person or team of people who are not judges or juries to determine the outcome of the case.

They listen to a summary of the case and then decide what the outcome of the case should be. In some cases, arbitration is an appropriate, faster, and less expensive way to resolve a legal dispute. In other circumstances, arbitration is inadequate to reasonably resolve a case.

Pros and cons of going to arbitration

There are advantages and disadvantages to going to arbitration. The benefits include:

  • It is usually less expensive
  • A case is often resolved faster than it would by going through traditional legal procedures
  • With relaxed rules of evidence, it is generally easier to present your case
  • You don’t have the stress of testifying in court.

The disadvantages of arbitration include:

  • You don’t have your official day at court.
  • A professional decides your case instead of a jury.
  • The referee does not have the opportunity to hear and evaluate witnesses directly
  • Discovery is limited
  • Your options to appeal may be limited

Voluntary arbitration vs. required

Arbitration can be voluntary or mandatory. Voluntary arbitration means that both parties to the case agree to participate in arbitration once they know they have a legal dispute.

Arbitration is mandatory if there is an enforceable arbitration clause in the contract that applies to the case. It is also mandatory if the judge orders the case to arbitration.

Binding arbitration vs. not binding

Not all arbitration decisions are final. An arbitration order can be binding or non-binding. If it is binding, it is the final decision and it is difficult to appeal.

If it is not binding, either party has the opportunity to appeal the decision or request a trial as if the arbitration never occurred.

What is arbitration like?

When a case goes to arbitration, both parties have a short period to present a summary of their case to the arbitrator. Parties generally have fewer opportunities to gather evidence than in a traditional proceeding.

However, the relaxed rules of evidence make it easier for parties to present information. The arbitrator listens to both parties and then issues a formal order declaring the value of the case.

Can I keep working to negotiate a settlement if my case goes to arbitration?

If your case goes to arbitration, you still have the opportunity to participate in settlement negotiations. As in traditional cases, settlement negotiations can begin immediately and continue until you have a decision.

The availability of arbitration may doom your settlement negotiations, but it does not change your ability to negotiate your case.

Nevada Arbitration Rules

Nevada has rules that control how arbitration works. They are called the Nevada Rules of Arbitration or NAR for short. Rule NAR 1 says that the court can order any case for binding, non-binding arbitration if the probable value of the case is more than $ 50,000.

The court can also send the case to mediation if the parties agree to it. NAR Rule 11 says that it is up to the arbitrator to decide how much discovery to allow in the case. They should try to ensure that the arbitration process is not costly or burdensome.

Nevada Arbitration Laws for Car Accidents

Nevada has a specific law that addresses arbitration clauses in car accident cases Nevada law 690B.017 says that an arbitration clause in an auto insurance policy is not binding on consumers.

Both the insured person and any third person making a claim under the policy can refuse to take the case to arbitration, even if there is an arbitration clause in the insurance contract. It is up to the consumer to decide whether they want to take the case to arbitration or not.

Do I have an arbitration contract?

Whether you have an arbitration contract depends on the terms of the insurance policy. You should read your policy carefully to see if it mentions arbitration.

Even if there is an arbitration clause, if your claim is against an auto insurer, you can weigh the pros and cons and decide if arbitration is right for your case.

Some arbitration clauses are enforceable

In DR Horton, Inc. v. Green , the Nevada Supreme Court said justices generally view arbitration as a good thing. When there is no law that is specifically applied to make an arbitration clause unenforceable, courts generally like arbitration as a way to settle cases.

If the court decides that one party has powers of unfair trading when they agree to the contract, the court may find that the arbitration clause is not enforceable or unenforceable. Otherwise, when no law addresses the exact situation, as in auto insurance cases, the courts generally apply arbitration clauses in contracts.

Additionally, Nevada law 597.995 says that for a binding arbitration agreement to be enforceable, the contract must have specific language indicating that each party affirms its agreement to participate in arbitration if there is a dispute.

How an Injury Lawyer Can Help

If you’ve been injured and wondering how an arbitration clause might affect your ability to recover the compensation you need, speaking with an injury attorney is essential.

Your attorney understands the specific laws associated with enforceable arbitration clauses and can provide valuable information on whether arbitration is the right option for you. They will study the details of your personal injury case to determine the best strategy to obtain the compensation you need to return to normal life.