Fargo, ND asked in Personal Injury and Arbitration / Mediation Law for North Dakota

Q: A person I sued after I was injured on their business's property requested we arbitrate instead. Is this a good idea?

2 Lawyer Answers

Peter D Morowski

  • Dickinson, ND
  • Licensed in North Dakota

A: There are many benefits to arbitration, most particularly it is typically much faster than a state court lawsuit. That said, if you are unrepresented by counsel I would be weary of agreeing to arbitration. Arbitration is a lot like a trial. I have never heard of an injury matter being arbitrated. In arbitration, the arbitrator or panel of arbitrators will decide your case and you will not have the benefit of a jury. You should also know that in arbitration, unlike a court case, there is typically no appeals process.

If you are unrepresented by an attorney, I recommend you consult with/retain one because you will be at a severe disadvantage at both arbitration or trial without one. If you have retained an attorney, you should consult with them about this issue.

Lucas Wynne

  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • St. Louis Park, MN
  • Licensed in North Dakota

A: I am an attorney in Fargo who practices in the area of personal injury. As an attorney who has handled numerous arbitrations, it would be my general advice to avoid arbitration unless mandated by some sort of policy (i.e. a no-fault insurance policy). Why? Because arbitrators can be extraordinarily biased. Because arbitrators tend to be private practice attorneys who practice in the area of personal injury defense, you will likely end up with an arbitrator who will side with the party you are suing by default. The process you need is mediation, not arbitration. If you do not have an attorney, you need one immediately. I hope my answer has been helpful to you.

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