Actions to be Submitted to Arbitration
39:6A-25 – NJ Car Accident Actions to be Submitted to Arbitration
In New Jersey, where the amount in controversy for the recovery of noneconomic loss sustained in an automobile is less then $15,000.00, the action will be submitted to arbitration. The statute provides as follows:
39:6A-25 – Actions to be submitted to arbitration
a. Any cause of action filed in the Superior Court after the operative date of this act, for the recovery of noneconomic loss, as defined in section 2 of P.L.1972, c. 70 (C. 39:6A-2), or the recovery of uncompensated economic loss, other than for damages to property, arising out of the operation, ownership, maintenance or use of an automobile, as defined in that section 2, shall be submitted, except as hereinafter provided, to arbitration by the assignment judge of the court in which the action is filed, if the court determines that the amount in controversy is $15,000.00 or less, exclusive of interest and costs; provided that if the action is for recovery for both noneconomic and economic loss, the controversy shall be submitted to arbitration if the court determines that the amount in controversy for noneconomic loss is $15,000.00 or less, exclusive of interest and costs.
b. Notwithstanding that the amount in controversy of an action for noneconomic loss is in excess of $15,000.00, the court may refer the matter to arbitration, if all of the parties to the action consent in writing to arbitration and the court determines that the controversy does not involve novel legal or unduly complex factual issues.
No cause of action determined by the court to be, upon proper motion of any party to the controversy, frivolous, insubstantial or without actionable cause shall be submitted to arbitration.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to any controversy on which an arbitration decision was rendered prior to the filing of the action.
The provisions of this section shall apply to any cause of action, subject to this section, filed prior to the operative date of this act, if a pretrial conference has not been concluded thereon.
L.1983, c. 358, s. 2.
Arbitration is generally a less expensive means to resolve a dispute. However, most attorneys are reluctant to have their clients case taken out of the hands of the jury where they believe there is the best opportunity to maximize the injured parties recovery. In addition, the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to a jury trial in a civil matter where the amount in controversy exceeds $20.00.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Arbitration be useful and effective in certain circumstances, especially in relation to obtaining a speedy result and moving cases out of the court system; an issue of judicial economy.
Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured in a New Jersey car accident, it is important to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your rights.