Arbitration is one of the methods to resolve disputes on the insurance settlement figures. It takes the place of a court case, and finds a solution through a third party that re-evaluates the case and offers a decision on the value of the insurance claim. If the policy holder and insurance company are required by the insurance policy to resolve differences of opinion through arbitration, then the two parties have to abide by the pronouncement of the arbitrator. Arbitration is normally used when the only issue to be resolved is damages.
Arbitration Process and Price
The Insurance policy conditions for arbitration are also known as “appraisal clauses.” The policy holder and insurance company will get the services of an appraiser to evaluate the claim before suggesting a settlement figure. When the settlement figures of the appraisers do not match, a third impartial appraiser is introduced to evaluate the claim. The pronouncement of two of the three appraisers will normally become the final decision. The appraisal clause can be raised by either of the two parties when a resolution is not achieved. The entire process may take weeks or months to finish.
Although arbitration may be cheaper than a full-blown court case, it still involves a fee. The two parties have to get the services of their own appraiser and split the fee of the impartial appraiser. If the cost is bigger than the settlement, then a re-evaluation of the approach is recommended. The settlement gained once a favorable decision is made should be higher than the cost of arbitration. Mediation is another method of resolving disputes. However, this process is frequently mistaken for arbitration. It requires an experienced mediator, who acts like a facilitator and works with the two parties in the dispute. The meeting can be done separately or together to facilitate the resolution of the dispute. However, the two parties do not have to agree with the decision in arbitration.
When the decision of an arbitrator is not honored by an insurance company, it is a breach of trust. A lawsuit can be filed against the insurance company, and the policy holder can consult a Missouri car accident lawyer.
Other Options Available When No Resolution Is Reached
There are other options available if no solution is reached through negotiations, arbitration or mediation.
Small Claims Court – This is the most practical option when the settlement amount is rather small. Disputes can be resolved earlier at a lesser cost with less pressure through a Small Claims Court. Although it is not necessary, the services of a Missouri car accident attorney may be practical when it comes to the approach to use in a Small Claims Court.
Department of Insurance – Although the department of insurance of the state can be the venue for making complaints, it may not negotiate on your behalf. On the other hand, the settlement figure may be increased by an unyielding insurance arbitrator when the department is brought into the picture.
File a Case in Court – A lawsuit may be filed against the person who caused the accident when: 1) there is a deadlock with the insurance adjuster, 2) the claim is bigger than the limit set by the small claims court of the state, 3) there are problems with the coverage of the insurance policy, or 4) the expiration of the statute of limitations is within two to three months.
If you have been injured in a Missouri car accident, the wise course is to contact an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will assist by educating you on your legal options and working to get you the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to under Missouri law.
To speak with a Missouri car accident attorney at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. call (314) 361-4242.
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