Is it better to take an arbitration award or go to trial?

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Is it better to take an arbitration award or go to trial?

About 2-1/2 years ago, our neighbor accidentally drove her car into the back of our garage. It’s been in a lawsuit ever since. We went through arbitration and were awarded $55,000, but our lowest estimate to have the garage repaired is $72,000 (2 walls are retaining). Our lawyer is suggesting we take the award and we’ve been told that going to trial could get us less than $55,000. The decision is hard since we had nothing to do with the accident and may have to pay thousands to make up the difference. Would you suggest taking the award or going to trial?

Asked on August 22, 2011 New Jersey

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your attorney has given you good advice.  If you go to trial, you might get less or you might get more or you might end up close to the present amount.  You also should consider the cost of going to trial.  Since you were awarded an amount through arbitration, it would be advisable to accept the amount.


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