Allstate Arbitration Process

Allstate Arbitration Process

After a car accident the last thing you want to do is fight for a fair auto accident settlement amount. You have injuries, damage to your vehicle, time off from work that resulted in lost wages. Compensation to cover all of these expenses is all you want. But sometimes, insurance companies don’t make getting a payout easy. If you are struggling to get a settlement from Allstate, you may consider going through the Allstate arbitration process.

You may hear the phrase alternative dispute resolution, or mediation, used to describe arbitration. In this process, the two parties involved choose an arbitrator. It is this person’s role to look at the facts of the case and make a fair decision to settle the claim. Arbitration is commonly used by insurance companies to settle car accident claims and avoid lawsuits. If you are an Allstate policy holder, it is written into car insurance policies that arbitration is required to settle first-party disputes. First-party means that you, the policy holder, are in dispute with the insurance company.

Allstate Arbitration Clause

When you hold an insurance policy, you have a contract between yourself and the insurance company. And like any other contract, your policy with Allstate includes certains rules and stipulations. When you are trying to settle a claim and negotiations fail, arbitration may make sense as the next step. Generally speaking, arbitration is quicker and less expensive compared to a lawsuit. Because of this, most insurance companies prefer to go through arbitration and avoid a court trial.

There are two types of arbitration:

  • Binding: The decision is final and cannot be appealed or challenged.
  • Non-binding: The decision can be denied and a lawsuit can still be filed.

Not surprisingly, Allstate has a binding arbitration clause included in all insurance policies. This is non-negotiable when you agree to be a policyholder with Allstate. If you are the policy holder and you file a claim with Allstate, that makes you a first-party claimant. As a first-party claimant, you will not be able to sue Allstate once the binding arbitration decision is made.

That being said, an Allstate claims adjuster may try to convince you to take the settlement offer that is on the table and avoid arbitration. Although arbitration is cheaper than a lawsuit, it does have costs associated with the process. Because of that, Allstate wants you to take the payout that they offer and close the claim quick and easy. Don’t let the pressure from the car insurance company stop you from getting the settlement you deserve.

Allstate Arbitration for 3rd-Party Claims

A third-party claim means that you are not filing a claim under your own policy. After an accident, you will often file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Because you are not the policyholder, Allstate cannot force you into arbitration if negotiations fail. You have the option to pursue arbitration or opt for a lawsuit.

That said, arbitration does have its advantages over taking a lawsuit to trial. If you want to know more about your options, it is a good idea to speak with a car accident lawyer. An attorney can help you understand whether a settlement is fair and what next steps you should take.

Why Opt for Allstate Arbitration?

You may choose arbitration for monetary reasons.

  • Lawsuits cost a lot more than arbitration. When you take the arbitration route, you will end up with lower legal fees and less money from your settlement will be spent on lawyers and court fees.
  • A car accident lawsuit may impose limits on the damages and amounts that you can claim. Arbitration does not have those limits.

There are other, non monetary reasons, why you may want to choose Allstate arbitration.

  • Lawsuits take much longer to schedule and the lawsuit process as a whole takes longer than arbitration.
  • When choosing an arbitrator, you have a say. This is not the case when a lawsuit trial is assigned to a judge.
  • When all is said and done, you will get money faster from arbitration than you would after winning a lawsuit.

What Happens During the Allstate Arbitration Process?

There are some important things to know about the car accident arbitration process. You do not need a lawyer, but it is always a good idea to have legal counsel. Allstate will have an attorney representing them. However, do not let the attorney’s presence intimidate you. They won’t have an advantage over you like they would at trial. The arbitrator overseeing your case will make their determination based on the facts alone.

If your facts and evidence are clear and well thought out, you will be able to present your case as well as the attorney representing Allstate. That said, if your accident was severe and your claim is complex, having an attorney of your own would likely benefit you.

A typical arbitration process is laid out in three phases:

  • Opening statements: Provide your name and describe the accident. You will also be expected to say what you plan to gain from arbitration.
  • Case presentations: This is when you will present your case and evidence. Show any and all proof that backs up your claims. You may need to prove that fault lies with the other driver.
  • Closing statements: Once both sides have presented their case, this is when you argue for what compensation you think you deserve.

Once arbitration is over, the arbitrator may take a week or two to make a final decision. Most arbitration proceedings are binding, meaning that neither party can appeal the verdict.

Get Legal Help With the Allstate Arbitration Process

If settlement negotiations are not going well with Allstate, you may want to consider arbitration. You should understand the process and know what to expect at every step. Consider seeking out a free consultation with a car accident attorney before pursuing arbitration with Allstate. Lawsuit Info Center can help get you in touch with a lawyer in your area.

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About Jessica Board, ESQ
Jessica Board is a graduate of the University of Iowa School of Law and is licensed in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. A member of the ABA Young Lawyer division, Iowa organization of Women Attorneys, and Defense Research Institute. With an undergraduate degree in finance, Jessica is passionate about educating individuals about how the law can help them recover the compensation needed to fully recover from injuries.