State Farm Arbitration Process
If you were in a car accident and have State Farm auto insurance, it is important to understand the arbitration process. Arbitration is a pre-agreed, neutral forum that is used to resolve legal disputes without going to court. Insurance companies that belong to the National Association of Arbitrators, including State Farm, agree that the decision of an arbitration panel is final. There is no appeal possible.
Arbitration can be a good choice if negotiations in your auto accident settlement process have broken down with State Farm. Below is more information about the process, which is an alternative to the standard State Farm Claims Process.
Overview of State Farm Arbitration Process
The arbitration process is initiated by your side by informing State Farm that you want to go to arbitration to resolve your claim. You must do this in writing. One of the first and most important aspects of arbitration is choosing who will preside over the case and decide. This can require both sides to negotiate for some time. Most arbitrators are retired judges or attorneys. AAA and similar organizations have a list available of qualified, neutral arbitrators who are obligated to be fair and neutral under the law.
Arbitrator Is Chosen
Once you and State Farm agree to the arbitrator, a date is selected for the arbitration hearing. This also is the effective deadline for both sides to submit the documents and evidence that support your arguments. You might submit medical documents that show how much you have had to spend on physical therapy and how much you will in the future. State Farm may argue in its documents that your condition is not that serious and will not cost as much as you claim.
After both sides have submitted their evidence and each side has reviewed them, there is a cooling off period built into the system. This allows you and State Farm to possibly decide to settle the case before the arbitration date. It is possible that you may see that State Farm has a stronger argument than you thought. Perhaps you will decide to settle before arbitration. In fact, 2/3 of these cases are settled before the arbitration date for this reason.
Arbitrator Renders Decision
After the hearing and both sides make their case before the arbitrator, the arbitrator will issue an awards statement. This is usually within a few weeks. The awards statement is brief and usually his reasoning for the decision is not discussed. It only states what you receive, if anything, and who is paying for which legal costs.
Talk to An Attorney
The arbitration process is not a trial, but it is still worth having your case reviewed by a qualified attorney. You can use our website to find an insurance company arbitration attorney in your area.