Rules & Regulations Vehicle Property Damage Program
Stated herein are the rules and regulations governing the submission of disputes involving vehicular and/or property damage claims to Arbitration Resolution Services, Inc. (“ARS”) for binding arbitration. The rules and regulations stated herein have been designed for the benefit of the parties and are intended to insure the quick, accurate and unbiased rendering of decisions. Any party who submits either an Application (which may be viewed in the sample forms section of the web site) for arbitration to ARS or a Response to an Application agrees to be bound by all of the rules and regulations stated herein.
SECTION 1: GENERAL PROVISIONS
1.1 Any company whose property (or if the Applicant is an insurance company, its insured), is damaged by the actions of another party (who is a business or insured) can submit a claim as an Applicant to ARS for binding arbitration.
1.2 Any federal, state, or local governments’ real property as well as that of any self-insured company that is damaged as the result of a motor vehicle accident can submit a claim as an Applicant to ARS for arbitration.
1.3 In the event that the parties to a dispute agree to submit a claim to ARS where one of the parties has previously filed a lawsuit, the party having filed the lawsuit must dismiss the litigation within sixty (60) days of the completed submissions to ARS. Submissions shall be deemed completed when a Response has been filed to an Application. Failure to withdraw the litigation as prescribed herein will be the basis for assessing the offending party all of the other party’s reasonable costs and attorney’s fees necessary to conclude the litigation.
1.4 In the event a party fails to dismiss litigation as required by these rules and any other party incurs any legal expenses and/or fees to have the action dismissed, such expenses and/or fees will be added to any award rendered to the party who failed to dismiss the action. In the event that the conclusion of the proceeding to dismiss the litigation goes beyond the decision of the arbitration and the decision is rendered in favor of the party required to begin legal proceedings to dismiss the litigation, any such award will be amended to reflect the expenses of such party upon proper documentation. If the party required to make the motion to dismiss a pending litigation loses the arbitration, a separate award will be rendered in that party’s favor upon the documentation of the action and expenses.
1.5 All decisions rendered by ARS shall be made by an attorney experienced in litigation and all such attorneys shall be impartial in their assessment of liability and award of damages. In all instances, attorneys shall be knowledgeable in the laws of the jurisdiction in which the claim arises.
1.6 The filing of an Application for arbitration will act to suspend any relevant Statute of Limitations. In the event that a matter is dismissed from arbitration, the Statute of Limitations, if it would have otherwise expired, will be extended to ninety (90) days past the dismissal date.
1.7 Any notices required by the rules shall be given by email at the email address provided by the parties on the application.
SECTION 2: JURISDICTION
2.1 ARS arbitration services are limited to accidents arising in the United States of America and its territories.
2.2 ARS shall only arbitrate claims for physical damage to vehicles and property. Related claims may consist of loss of use and or diminution in value of the vehicle. They shall also relate to claims for administrative expenses where provided for by state statutes. Related claims shall also consist of damage to real property or other structures arising out of motor vehicle accidents.
2.3 Submission of disputes requires that all parties involved in an accident agree to participate and be bound by a decision rendered by ARS. Where less than all of the involved parties agree to submit the dispute to ARS, a matter may still be submitted if the consenting parties agree to proceed. An allocation of fault may still be determined against a non-participating party but not be enforceable as to that party.
SECTION 3: PROCEDURES
3.1 A party wanting to submit a claim (referred to as the Applicant) must be a registered ARS user. A party need only register one time to be able to participate in future arbitrations with ARS.
3.2 After an Applicant registers, when they want to submit an arbitration, they must complete the top part of the arbitration Application related to information about the other party(s) involved. At that point, ARS will contact the other party(s), who are referred to as Respondents, to obtain their consent to arbitrate.
3.3 After the consent of all of the parties has been received, except as provided for in paragraph 2.3, the Applicant must complete the arbitration Application. The Applicant shall attach/upload to the Application:
a) All documentary evidence of their claim. Such documentary evidence shall consist of support for the liability of the Respondent(s), including (but not limited to) any police or accident reports, witness statements, scene diagrams, photographs, video/audio recordings and or other non-written evidence.
b) If the Applicant is also relying on any statutory authority or case law, such authority or case must be uploaded as well.
c) The documentary evidence shall also consist of proof of damages and/or payment of such damages.
3.4 After the Applicant completes the Application, ARS will send a Notice of Arbitration Filing to the Respondent(s). Upon receipt of the Notice the Respondent(s) shall have thirty (30) days to submit a Response to the Application. In the event the Respondent fails to submit an answer, the Application will be referred to an arbitrator for a decision.
3.5 The Respondent may, as a part of the Response, file a counterclaim against the Applicant or crossclaim against any another Respondent. The Respondent may also have the ability to add another party as an additional Respondent (provided that they consent to be added or, absent their consent, the other parties agree to move forward without that additional Respondent’s participation). In the event the Respondent does not assert a counterclaim or crossclaim, their right to do so shall be deemed to have been waived.
3.6 The Respondent must submit/upload the following attachments to their Response: All documentary evidence to support their position as to liability or to refute the damages claimed by the Applicant.
a) If a counterclaim against the Applicant or crossclaim(s) against one or more of the co-respondents is filed, all documentary evidence to support their claim for damages and proof of payment of such damages shall be provided at the time of filing the Response.
b) If a crossclaim is filed against a Respondent, that Respondent will be able to file a Response to the crossclaim, with evidence, and then the Respondent that filed the crossclaim will also have the option to Reply.
c) After a Response has been filed, the Applicant will be notified and have twenty-one (21) days to file a Reply. The Reply shall be limited to responding to any Counterclaim or defenses contained in the Response. The Applicant will be must upload any evidence needed to support their Reply. They may also add to their list of witnesses at that time. If no Reply has been filed by the Applicant to the Response, within the time allotted, the right to file a reply will be deemed waived.
3.7 Upon the filing of a Response with a counterclaim, the Applicant will be notified and have thirty (30) days to submit a Reply, but a Reply is not mandatory. The Reply shall contain any evidence necessary to refute the claim asserted by the Respondent.
3.8 FEES: All fees, as stated in the fee schedule, are due at the time of filing any document under the rules or within thirty (30) days after an invoice for the fee(s) is rendered. Except as stated in this section, once both or all parties to a dispute have agreed (as required) to submit a matter to ARS for binding arbitration and all fees have been paid, the matter will be submitted to an Arbitrator. No matters will be referred to an arbitrator for any type of action or decision unless all required fees have been paid. The following are exceptions to the general rule:
a) Where the Application has been filed and the fee paid, if the Respondent files a Response but does not pay the required fee within the time required, the Response of the unpaid party will be stricken and the matter referred to an arbitrator for a decision on the merits based on the Application and the Responses of the paid Respondents (if any).
b) Where the Respondent has filed a counterclaim and the Applicant has failed to pay their required fee within the time required, the Application will be stricken and the Response with the counterclaim will be submitted to an arbitration for a decision on the merits based solely on the Response.
c) The same rules as stated in sub-paragraph a and b above apply to all situations where parties are required to file a fee for a particular purpose with the exception of the clerical review fee. No fee will be required when the request for the review is filed. Where a clerical error is not found, the party will be required to pay the clerical review fee as stated in the schedule of fees.
3.9 Defaults/Notices: Where a party fails to file or respond as required by the rules, after proper notice has been given, all arbitrations will proceed as outlined in the rules. All notices will be sent to the e-mail address of the parties as stated on their Application or Response.
SECTION 4: DECISIONS / PAYMENT OF AWARD
4.1 After receipt of all Responses and/or Replies have been received or the appropriate deadlines for filing Responses and or Replies have passed, the matter will be referred to an arbitrator for a decision.
4.2 Decisions shall be rendered no later than sixty (60) days after completed submissions have been received or the deadlines passed. Such decisions will be posted to the file and notice of such decision will be given to the parties.
4.3 Unless an Appeal or Request For Clerical Review is filed within the time period provided for in these rules, all decisions are final and binding on all parties and any award of damages must be paid within thirty (30) days of the date that the decision is published.
4.4 After an award is rendered, if a party pays an award before the time period permitted for the filing of an appeal or clerical review expires and an Appeal or Request For Clerical Review is filed, any such payment shall be subject to the final determination on the appeal or clerical review.
4.5 In the event a party fails to pay an award within the time provided for, the party seeking payment of the award shall file a Notice of Non-Payment with ARS.
4.6 If such award remains unpaid for an additional time of thirty (30) days from the receipt of the Notice of Non-Payment, then the following shall occur:
a) The amount of the award shall be increased by one third, which represents the reasonable costs of the party awarded the damages in seeking enforcement of the decision.
b) The non-compliant party will be barred from participating in any future matters with ARS until the award is paid.
4.7 The rendering of a decision by ARS on any disputes shall not be considered as Res Judicata or Collateral Estoppel in any other proceedings.
4.8 Any party may file for a review of a decision rendered based on a clerical mistake. The request must be made within twenty one (21) days of the publication date and submitted to ARS on the Clerical Request form, which can be viewed on the sample forms section of the web site. The clerical review will be completed within fourteen (14) days and the results of the review will be published to the file and parties notified. The payment of any award of damages shall be payable within thirty (30) days of the publishing of the results of the clerical review.
SECTION 5: APPEALS
5.1 Appeal: Within thirty (30) days from the date of publication of a decision, or if a clerical review has been requested, within thirty (30) days from the date that a decision on the clerical review has been rendered, any party may file an Appeal of the decision. The Appeal can only be based on one of two (2) reasons. First: The Arbitrator used the wrong law or legal standard or Second: The Arbitrator used the correct legal standard but applied it incorrectly as to the facts of the case as determined by the Arbitrator.
a) The non-appealing party(s) shall have the right to file a Response to the Appeal within thirty (30) days of receiving notice of the Appeal
5.2 The Appeal will be conducted by a panel of three (3) arbitrators not previously involved in the matter and a decision on the Appeal will be rendered within sixty (60) days of the submitted request. No decision on the Appeal will be rendered until the applicable fee has been paid. If the fee remains unpaid for more that thirty (30) days after the invoice is issued, the Appeal will be deemed withdrawn and the original decision will be final and binding.
5.3 Clerical Review: Any party may file a request for a clerical review of a decision or an appellate decision based on a clerical error. A clerical error is defined as a typographical error in either a number or amount related to a decision or award or the misuse, inclusion or omission of a word which is clear from a reading of the Decision or Appellate Decision that is incorrect. Such request must be filed with ARS within twenty one (21) days from the date that the decision/Appellate Decision is rendered or the right is waived. If an error if found, there will be no fee for the review. If there is no clerical error found, the party will be charged a fee as indicated in our schedule of fees.
Revised June 2013