Progressive Arbitration Process
After suffering car accident injuries, you are probably expecting an insurance company to pay you for the injuries you are left with. Or perhaps you have damage to your car and want the insurance company to foot the bill. While this is a reasonable expectation, the insurance claims process does not always go smoothly. If you are working with Progressive and the claims process is not going as well as you had hoped, you may need to learn about the Progressive arbitration process.
Arbitration is a type of mediation between multiple parties that cannot come to a reasonable solution on their own. This is often a step taken to avoid a long and lengthy legal proceeding. With arbitration, the parties involved choose a neutral third party to assess the case and make an unbiased decision.
Overview of Progressive Arbitration Process
The arbitration process begins when you inform Progressive that you intend to pursue mediation. This is because you feel that your accident claim is not being handled properly or you feel like you are not being offered a fair settlement. To start the process, you will need to submit your intent in writing.
One of the most important things when starting arbitration to choosing who will be the arbitrator. However, this is not your choice alone. Progressive will have a say in this choice. You and the insurance company will need to agree on your mediator.
Most arbitrators are retired judges or attorneys. If you are working with an attorney, they will likely be able to suggest locals officials. Or, you can use online resources such as the American Arbitration Association. By law, all arbitrators must be neutral and act fairly to both sides of the claim.
Progressive Arbitration Clause
When you have a Progressive car insurance policy, you have a contract between yourself and the insurance company. Progressive has an arbitration clause built into each of its policies
There are two forms of arbitration:
- Binding: The arbitrator’s decision is binding on both parties. You cannot appeal the decision.
- Non-binding: The arbitrator’s decision can be accepted or rejected by either party. A lawsuit is still an option.
Progressive’s policies indicate that any arbitration must be binding. It is impossible to sue your car insurance company when there is a binding arbitration clause. Arbitration is faster and less costly than a lawsuit. That is why most insurance policies require arbitration before the case can go to court. If your Progressive claim negotiations stall, Progressive may require you to go to arbitration.
A first-party auto insurance claim usually falls under
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage
- Medical payment coverage
- Underinsured or uninsured driver coverage
- Collision coverage
If you cannot reach a mutually agreeable car accident settlement amount, you can either get nothing or agree to arbitration.
Do not be surprised if the Progressive claims adjuster tries to talk you out of car accident arbitration. The adjuster might bump up their offer. If you go to arbitration, this suggests the adjuster failed. A case that goes into arbitration costs Progressive more money.
Progressive Arbitration for 3rd-Party Claims
After a car accident, you may file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. This is a third party claim. Because you are not filing a claim under your own policy, Progressive cannot mandate arbitration on you, the third party claimant. You have the option to file a lawsuit if negotiations with Progressive fail.
However, arbitration is often better than going to court and facing lengthy legal proceedings. Speak to an experienced car accident lawyer to get a better idea if arbitration or a lawsuit would be best to move your case forward.
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Why Select Progressive Arbitration?
There are several reasons why arbitration is often the right away to pursue a settlement.
- Arbitration is cheaper than a car accident lawsuit. Legal fees can add up fast in a lawsuit. An arbitration will likely leave you with more money in the end because you do not have to pay those fees.
- Arbitration does not have limits, where as the court may impose limits.
- In most cases, arbitration can be scheduled and carried out much faster than a lawsuit and trial.
- You have a say in who your arbitrator is. With a trial you do not know who the judge or jury will be.
- When in a courtroom, you will face stricter rules and expectations when it comes to evidence to back your claim. Arbitration is a little more flexible.
- The payout that you may receive from arbitration will come quicker than it would after a trial.
Because it is still a legal proceeding, it is advisable to have a lawyer with you during arbitration. However, this is not mandatory. Arbitration hearings are not as complex or overwhelming as a full blown court trial.
Progressive Basic Arbitration Process
Arbitrator is Selected
Picking an arbitrator may require some negotiations between you and Progressive. Once you have settled on a mediator, the arbitration hearing date is set. You and Progressive will need to submit all documents and evidence to back your side by this hearing date. Be sure to submit anything and everything that you have pertaining to the accident. This includes medical bills, proof of ongoing treatment, etc. Progressive may submit evidence of their own trying to refute your claims.
Once all evidence is submitted, there is one last chance to settle prior to arbitration beginning. This allows both sides to review all of the evidence and documents, perhaps seeing something new and realizing that claim is stronger or weaker than initially thought. Either side can end negotiations at this point. In fact, many cases settle before arbitration even begins.
If arbitration proceeds, both parties will present their evidence to the arbitrator.
Compared to an official court trial, arbitration hearings are generally informal. The typical arrangement of an arbitration proceeding is:
- Opening statement: Introduce yourself and give a description of your car accident claim. Also clarify what you hope to gain from arbitration.
- Case presentations: This is when you will present your evidence to the arbitrator. You will want to make a strong case for yourself. Show proof of injuries, treatment, missed work, and any other damages. If liability of fault for the accident is not solidified, you will also need to argue the other drivers negligence.
- Closing statements: After both sides have given their arguments, you end the hearing by reviewing the strengths of your case, your injuries, and damages. Also, you talk about what you think you deserve a certain amount of compensation.
Once the arbitration hearing is complete and both sides have had the opportunity to present their case, the arbitrator will give their awards statement. It may take a week or two to hear the arbitrator’s decision. The awards statement is generally a brief overview of what you are awarded, if anything. It also addresses who will pay the legal fees associated with the arbitration. In a non-binding arbitration, there is no opportunity to appeal the decision.
What Goes On During Progressive Arbitration?
Going through arbitration isn’t really any different than arbitration with another insurance company. It is always wise to consult a lawyer and consider hiring them to go through the proceedings with you. The more severe the accident and the more serious your injuries, the more important it is to have legal counsel.
However, if your injuries are minor and you are not looking at a complex claim, you might not need an attorney. Progressive will have a lawyer representing them, but it is not as big of an advantage to have an attorney as it would be in a lawsuit trial. The arbitrator will be looking only at the facts of the case and giving an unbiased solution. As long as you understand your claim and have confidence in your evidence, you will be able to represent yourself well.
If you are facing arbitration, consider consulting a lawyer regardless of the severity of your case. Many law offices offer free consultations, so take advantage of any legal advice you can get.
Progressive Auto Accident Settlement Basics
Any insurance company will try to settle your claim prior to taking next steps and Progressive is no different. Settling the claims process via standard negotiations is cheaper and more timely than arbitration. But be aware that you have the right to arbitration if Progressive refuses to offer you a fair settlement.
Let’s say that a driver with Progressive insurance rear ended you and caused you injury. Progressive might offer you a quick and small settlement. They may send an insurance adjuster to your home to discuss the case and encourage you to take the rear end collision settlement. But the settlement offered is not enough to cover your damages. You know that you should be compensated more than what they are offering.
Progressive may try to convince you to take the settlement, but stand your ground. If you need help protecting your rights and getting the maximum compensation due, let a car accident attorney help you.
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Speak to An Attorney
The arbitration process is a complex legal procedure. It is smart to have an experienced attorney at your side, or at least review your case before you go to arbitration with Progressive. Use our website to find an experienced attorney in your area.
If you plan to go into Progressive arbitration, having a skilled attorney with you could improve your chances of getting fair compensation. Lawsuit Info Center can help you find an experienced personal injury attorney in your area. Use our site to find a licensed attorney near you today.
In most cases, the arbitrator must make a ruling within 30 days after the hearing has concluded.
One downside is there is no formal evidence process. This means you must rely on the experience and skill of the arbitrator to go through the evidence. There is no judge or jury. The arbitrator takes no depositions or interrogatories, and there is no discovery process.
You can demonstrate your personal property damages, personal injuries, and why the insurance company owes you damages during auto insurance arbitration. The insurance company responds, and the arbitrator makes a ruling that binds each party.
Most auto insurance policies, including Progressive, allow you to resolve a car accident injury dispute out of court in arbitration. Arbitration is a less formal legal proceeding where you and the auto insurance company offer information about the claim to an arbitrator. The decision of the arbitrator is usually binding, meaning there is no appeal.
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A graduate of Trinity Law School in Southern California, Graham Bersche has experience as a paralegal, negotiator, and legal writer. He lives in Los Angeles and is passionate about helping people who’ve been injured in car accidents to understand the laws governing their situations and learn how to maximize their car accident settlements.