Some states and many insurance companies require disputes from auto accidents be resolved first through arbitration rather than litigation. In these cases, liability for damages must be determined as a result of an arbitration process before a civil lawsuit can be filed in the court system. In arbitration, neutral arbitrators are selected and then evidence is presented. The arbitrators determine the amount of the award, if any. If the award is agreed to, that is the end of the matter. If one of the parties refuses to accept the award, a lawsuit may then be filed to have a new trial in a court of law, with accountability to be decided by a judge or jury.
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