The Law Office of Paul Mankin

Why do Most Slip and Fall Claims against Hospitals go to Arbitration instead of Court?

When it comes to slip and fall claims, there are various legal avenues through which one can proceed in hopes of being compensated for their injuries. Depending on the unique details of any particular slip and fall, a claimant may seek a resolution via settlement, a full lawsuit, or even arbitration. If it was up to the hospitals defending against such claims, almost all of these claims would go through arbitration. There are various reasons as to why and this article will provide readers with such insights.


A slip and fall claim is predicated by an incident in which someone suffers an injury at a hospital after a fall due to negligence or malpractice of the hospital.  Examples of this are uncleaned liquids on the floor, unstable grounds on the premises or improper medication of the a patient leading to improper balance.

Regardless of the cause, victims of such incidents are sure to seek out compensation of some sort for their injuries. In these incidents, hospitals will often seek to resolve the matter prior to a full lawsuit process can finish.

Legal Options

In the event of a slip and fall incident, you will have several legal options to consider before pursuing a financial recovery of damages suffered due to the injury. For starters, you may seek out the assistance of an experienced attorney that is capable of guiding you through the process. From there, the attorney will present several different options to you and advise on the likelihood of success for each option.

If pursuing a lawsuit, the attorney will likely file the claim in the appropriate court house and you will need to prepare for a long, drawn out battle. In order to avoid this process, a hospital may seek to expedite the process and lessen their financial burden by reaching a settlement or moving to the case to arbitration.

Arbitration is a much more common scenario for the hospital to push for and will often seek to entice the claimant to agree to this option. The main reason for this is legal costs. If the hospital is looking at a large payout in damages to the claimant, they can cut costs on the legal assistance front instead.


Overall, arbitration equates to fewer man hours for attorneys. Additionally, the process is often expedited in comparison to full lawsuit procedure.  In turn, this leads to a much lower financial burden to the hospital.  And most importantly, it eliminates a jury from making a decision on the claim which hospitals like to avoid.   Ultimately, if hospitals believe they are fighting a losing battle, it certainly helps to cut costs somewhere.

Even if they foresee a successful outcome while defending the claim, it certainly doesn’t hurt to speed up the process instead of letting it hang over their heads. If they can get a potential claim resolved quickly, you better believe the hospital will push for this option.

Regardless of which options the hospital chooses to pursue, you will want to consider which option is best for you.

Differences between Arbitration and Courtroom Proceedings

In arbitration, the procedural rules for presenting a case and presenting evidence are drastically different from that of a courtroom. Additionally, the proceeding may either be binding or non-binding on the parties involved.

In typical courtroom proceedings, there are specific procedural rules and ways to present evidence for a claim to be valid. Beyond that, there are several stages and lots of waiting around for your case to be heard. In the end, don’t be surprised when your claim takes several years to reach a resolution.

Weighing these differences and how they apply to your claim can have a huge impact between success and failure.

Is Arbitration good for you?

Regardless of which legal option is best for the hospital, it is important to understand which option is best for your case. While an expedited process and cost savings route may seem enticing, you must also understand which procedural rules offer you the best outcome.

For example, if the hospital has evidence they present in arbitration, but that same evidence would not be allowed in a typical courtroom proceeding, the presented evidence could hurt your claim drastically. Even though the courtroom proceeding may be more costly, the larger victory payout could make up the money lost in a negative outcome arbitration proceeding.

While these numbers may not be that obvious at the beginning, an experienced attorney can be worth his weight in gold if he can help predict these possibilities and guide you along accordingly. As such, finding an attorney that has gone this path with similar claims in the past is highly recommended. Be sure to consider your legal options and legal advocates in your area.