What is arbitration and do I have to arbitrate?
Aribtration is...Q: What is arbitration?
A: Arbitration is a forum where a third party neutral arbitrator takes the role of judge. In place exercising your right to a jury trial and presenting your claims in front of a judge, your claims will be decided by a neutral arbitrator. The arbitrator hears the case and makes the final decision regarding your claims.
Advantages and DisadvantagesQ: What are the advantages of arbitration?
A: Arbitration may be a faster forum for concluding your claims.
Q: What are the disadvantages of arbitration?
A: You lose your right to a jury trial. Arbitrating may become prohibitively costly. An arbitrator's time must be compensated as a cost of litigation. The decision of the arbitrator may be a final conclusion to your claims. Differing procedural rules may apply than those in Texas trial courts. The arbitrator may be unduly influenced--an arbitrator may be chosen out of a pool of arbitrators with ties to private insurers; health organizations; or pro-business organizations.
Q: Are my claims subject to arbitration?
A: Maybe. The courts in the United States and Texas heavily favor arbitration. Determining whether arbitration applies would require an investigation into those documents signed, those person(s) involved in executing those documents, the terms of arbitration, and the relevant circumstances surrounding the execution of the arbitration agreement. With regard to nursing homes, recent decisions by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services have called to ban arbitration agreements from long-term care facilities. To determine whether arbitration may apply to your potential claims, it is important to seek counsel familiar with arbitration agreements and the relevant jurisprudence.