Arbitration is a process for resolving disputes outside of court, where an arbitrator reviews the evidence and makes a decision. It may be used in a variety of personal injury claims, including car accidents, medical malpractice, and more.

Arbitrators are typically lawyers or judges. In most personal injury cases, arbitration is optional. However, in some situations, arbitration is required by a contractual provision. Court-ordered arbitration may be biding, in which case the decision is final. With non-binding arbitration, both parties may seek a review of the

Choice of Arbitrator

Unlike judges in traditional court proceedings, arbitrators are typically chosen by the parties involved or through an arbitration organization. The parties may agree upon a single arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators, depending on the complexity of the dispute and the preferences outlined in the arbitration agreement.

Arbitrators are usually lawyers or judges.

The Arbitration Process

During arbitration, the plaintiff and their attorney, the arbitrator, and the defense sit down together. Both sides make opening statements and present evidence. Arbitration is less formal than a trial, and an arbitrator may accept evidence that wouldn’t be allowed in court.

The arbitrator considers the evidence and then makes a decision. In a car accident case, the arbitrator decides who is at fault and the amount of compensation.

Binding vs. Non-Binding Arbitration

There are two types of arbitration decisions.

  • In binding arbitration, the arbitrator’s decision is final and usually can’t be overturned.
  • In non-binding arbitration, the arbitrator’s decision is not legally binding. The parties may choose to continue the dispute and potentially take the case to trial.

Pros of Arbitration

Arbitration proceedings in Georgia offer several advantages, including efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and confidentiality. The process tends to be more streamlined, with a focus on speedy resolution and less procedural formalities compared to court trials. Moreover, arbitration is less expensive than going to trial.

Cons of Arbitration

Arbitration has drawbacks, and it’s important to be aware of these when making a decision.

Depending on the case, a jury may award more financial compensation. Additionally, the decision in non-binding arbitration usually can’t be appealed. It’s important to talk with a lawyer about arbitration versus trial. Each case is different, and your attorney will be able to offer guidance tailored to your unique situation.

Arbitration vs Mediation

Mediation and arbitration are both alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods commonly utilized to resolve conflicts outside the traditional court system, yet they differ significantly in their processes and outcomes.

In mediation, a neutral third party, known as the mediator, facilitates communication and negotiation between the disputing parties with the goal of reaching a mutually acceptable resolution. The mediator does not impose a decision but instead assists the parties in identifying their interests, exploring potential solutions, and fostering dialogue.

Unlike arbitration, which typically results in a binding decision, mediation is non-binding, meaning that the parties retain control over the final outcome and are not obligated to accept any proposed settlement unless they voluntarily agree to it.


In conclusion, arbitration reflects a nuanced interplay of statutory provisions, contractual agreements, and judicial precedents. As a flexible and efficient alternative to traditional litigation, arbitration offers parties a mechanism for resolving personal injury disputes in a manner that is expedient, cost-effective, and confidential.

It’s important to discuss your legal options with an experienced personal injury attorney before deciding how to proceed with your case. A lawyer can assess the circumstances and evidence, explain the pros and cons of arbitration and litigation, and offer counsel tailored to your particular case.

Related Case Reference: BADGEROW v. WALTERS ET AL. 

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