Should you agree to arbitration instead of trial?

Your no-fault complaint is filed, discovery is over, and you are just beginning to accept that your case may have to go trial. But then your auto accident attorney brings up another option: arbitration. What is arbitration, and why would you want to use it as an alternative to trial?

What is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It pulls your case out of the court system and into a private resolution process. Instead of a judge, a private arbitrator or panel of three arbitrators decide your case.

The arbitration process is often as formal as a full trial. Your auto accident attorney may prepare briefs, present exhibits, or even ask witnesses to testify. Other arbitrators will rely on written evidence summaries, including affidavits expert reports.

Unlike other forms of alternative dispute resolution, an arbitration award is often binding. The parties don’t get to decide whether to accept or not. In fact, one of the down sides to arbitration is that parties have very limited access to appeals if they disagree with the arbitrators’ decision.

Why Choose Arbitration?

There are many reasons why your trial attorney may recommend taking your auto accident case to mediation. Every case is different, but here are a few common causes.

Your Insurance Contract Contains an Arbitration Clause

If you are suing your auto insurance company based on your uninsured motorist insurance (UIM) policy, you may have no choice but to take the case to arbitration. Many UIM policies contain mandatory arbitration clauses built into their contracts. By signing your policy, you agreed that if there is any legal dispute, it will be decided outside of court. If you file a lawsuit without first trying to resolve the case through arbitration, you could end up having your case dismissed.

Your Case Depends on a Complicated Medical or Legal Issue

Juries are not always reliable when it comes to complicated medical or legal issues. If your recovery depends on the decision-maker understanding that an unusual treatment was reasonably necessary for your recovery, for example, you may be better off selecting educated arbitrators to make the decision.

You Need Your Case Resolved Quickly

The reality of the Michigan court system is that it can take months and sometimes more than a year to take your case from complaint to trial. If you need to get your relief more quickly, arbitration can often cut the process short.

You Don’t Want Your Medical Condition to Be Public Record

As the injured motorist, it may not be the time or expense that pushes you to accept arbitration. It may be the privacy. Everything is resolved privately, so, you can avoid having your testimony and medical records become part of public record.

There are lots of pros and cons to arbitration. If you think it might be helpful for your case, schedule time to talk to the experienced trial attorneys at Christensen Law to discuss your options.


Everyone at Christensen Law was extremely friendly and very easy to work with. Whenever I had a question, they took the time to talk with me and explained everything thoroughly. They were also very quick to return phone calls. I would definitely recommend Christensen Law to anyone in need of a personal injury lawyer.

I suffered Traumatic Brain Injury when struck by a vehicle while walking. My recovery was a long uphill battle; I had little energy to expend on daily routines and even LESS on caring for my home and life. I wondered how I could continue into the future with the difficulties I faced.

I handed the baton off to David and Sarah of Christensen Law. They resolved the unique challenges of my case while buffering me from the opposing side’s onslaught. The case concluded successfully and to my satisfaction with minimal effort on my part.

To ease the burden of the load you carry, make the decision on your legal team today. You’re in the right place – all you have to do now is make the call.

Overall a professional, great team. Everyone knew me and my case. When I left a message, I got a quick reply. Sarah made me feel comfortable going into a courtroom, where I never had been before. Both David and Sarah are very knowledgeable with legal issues. I trusted everyone and am a satisfied client.

V. Watkins

I never knew attorneys could be so accessible and kind. They fought for me all the way to the end. They had to take my case to trial and they won me a great settlement. Now I have a secure future.


HH, Davison

I was treated very nicely and professionally with a lot of consideration and compassion for my disabilities suffered in a horrible car accident. Mr. Christensen and Sarah Stempky made sure I understood what was happening with my case and that everything was pulled together.

LG, Stockbridge

As an accident victim I had to have my leg amputated and I was in bad shape overall. David Christensen was a light in that experience. I ended up with an entire home modification to accommodate my disabilities. It was a very stubborn insurance company but David wouldn’t take no for an answer.

CB, Milford

If I had questions or worries Dave would address them with me because he knows what he is doing. I think the world of him. I felt he went above and beyond to turn a really bad situation around. I have hope now where before I felt powerless and miniscule and that these big insurance companies were just going to railroad me.

DT, Jackson

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