Losing a Workers’ Compensation Case in Arbitration

Are there any options if you lose your workers’ compensation case in arbitration?

workers-compensation-arbitrationArbitration is a method of resolving a dispute, where disagreement is resolved out of court. A good number of states offer either mediation or arbitration as a way of providing solutions to disputes in workers’ compensation cases. For instance, Missouri gives two parties the option to use arbitration for finding a solution to disputes in workers’ compensation claims. The two parties should agree to get an arbitrator and should ensure that the arbitrator they choose is completely unbiased. However, the solution provided through mediation and arbitration is not binding. More often than not, arbitrators rule in favor of the employer. This means the employee is left with no option but to submit an appeal to the court system of the state.

Arbitration Basics

Arbitration is an official process wherein the two parties provide their contentions and evidence to an independent arbitrator, who will act as the judge. Although there are instances when more than one arbitrator may be used, workers’ compensation cases normally require a single arbitrator. After all the evidence is presented to the arbitrator, a decision will be issued in connection with the result of the case. Many states consider the decision of an arbitrator as a recommendation on how an issue is going to be handled and the parties are not required to follow it. Some states require an alternative dispute resolution to be conducted while other states only allow arbitration if the two parties make a request.

How Can a Loss During Arbitration Affect Each Party?

When arbitration is considered binding in a state, the decision of the arbitrator in a workers’ compensation case is final and cannot be appealed anymore. On the other hand, states that do not consider arbitration to be binding will allow either party to the case to appeal the decision of the arbitrator or go into another level of litigation.

Kansas City Missouri workers’ compensation lawyers inform us that whenever one party will appeal the decision of an arbitrator, the next step will be determined by the laws of the state where the case was filed. There are some states where a state appellate body will handle issues associated with the workers’ compensation system. Other states will require the parties to go straight to the courts after arbitration.

Things to Take Into Account When Making an Appeal

When an appeal is made on the decision of an arbitrator, it will mean that the case will continue to the next step in the litigation process. It may be necessary to get the services of a Kansas City Missouri workers’ compensation attorney to find out whether an appeal will succeed or not. The financial and emotional implications should be taken into account when thinking about going into the next step in the litigation process.

Deadlines are strict when making an appeal on the decision of an arbitrator. Therefore, call The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (816) 399-3706 for a free consultation.

Photo credit: Ohio Office of Redevelopment via Flickr

Updated: July 29, 2019

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