Hi and welcome to JA. I am Ray and will be the expert helping you today.
Arbitration is usually heard by former judges or persons with great experience in similar cases.Your lawyer here may be trying to get this to arbitration because he thinks this offers you the quickest and best way to resolve your case.They would hear your testimony about pain and suffering, hopefully there is also some medical here to support your long term effects.I think in some ways you do better with arbitration.It helps you avoid a judge which may or may like not you and your lawyer and your case and avoid politics of such a trial.
It has been my experience that arbitration is pretty fair overall and the recovery is pretty close to what you get in court sometimes more.I do think you can get more than you have been offered.The insurance claim can be negotiated and reduced in most situations.I discount for collecting what the insurance has been paid.This can range from 25%-33%.If your lawyer has not done that insist on this.It will leave you more money however this turns out.
You will want to organize your presentation with exhibits and medical you have that shows pain over time and also future medical requirements and costs.Also if you are pro se you should contact the insurance company directly and negotiate a reduction on the bill.That is common for them to grant this again it can be 25%-33%.Ask for the 33% and see what you get form them.This makes your recovery better and also allows you to use it for future medical.
More here on the advantages/disadvantages..
If you are pro se you would be better off seeking to reduce the insurance payback and at least trying arbitration.
Here is more about how it works.
I appreciate the chance to help you today.Please let me know if you have more follow up.Your lawyer who helped you file suit is giving you good advice and the best chance to get the best recovery.Also try to reduce the insurance payback by negotiating with them.