My Love Of The Law

Can Arbitration Be Used To Settle Worker's Compensation Claims?

by Alan Medina

Arbitration is a way of legally resolving a dispute outside of court. If you're a worker who is engaged in a dispute with your employer about a worker's compensation claim, having information about arbitration can be important.

Can arbitration be used to settle worker's compensation claims?

Many states will allow worker's compensation disputes between an employer and employee to be settled through arbitration. Some states even require worker's compensation disputes to go to arbitration. Your worker's compensation attorney will be able to tell you the details of your state's laws.

What are the advantages of settling your worker's compensation dispute through arbitration?

There are many advantages to settling through arbitration. Arbitration is less structured than court, which can make it possible to devise creative settlement options. In addition, a skilled arbitrator will encourage both parties to work together to resolve a dispute. Because both parties play a key role in finding the solution to the problem, arbitration can result in each party feeling satisfied with the final results. This team work between both sides can also help arbitration go more quickly than proceedings in court, and that can result in less money spent.

What happens during arbitration?

Arbitration begins with the parties finding an arbitrator. Once the arbitrator is chosen, the parties schedule a day or dates to present their arguments for the arbitrator. The arbitrator listens to each side, then makes a recommendation for an outcome. In many states, this outcome is not binding, however, in a few states, the decision is binding and final.

If the arbitrator's decision isn't binding and final, can you dispute it?

If you live in a state where the arbitration decision isn't binding and final, then yes, you can appeal the decision and take it to court.

Do you need a lawyer if your dispute is going to be settled through arbitration?

The decision of whether or not to get a lawyer for your worker's compensation claim is up to you. It's a good idea to talk to a lawyer regardless of where the dispute is being settled—in court or in arbitration.

For more information about how to settle a worker's compensation claim through arbitration, contact a skilled workers compensation attorney. He or she will be able to answer any questions you may have about arbitration. He or she will also be able to help you if you decide to settle your dispute through the arbitration process.