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

UPDATED: Aug 22, 2011

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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


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

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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