Not all personal injury claims make it to court. In fact, most them don’t. The litigation process is stressful, time-consuming, and expensive for claimants and defendants alike, which is why both parties usually opt for alternative dispute resolution.
Alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, is the procedure for settling disputes outside of the court system. The three most common types of ADR are negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. In this article, the personal injury attorneys at Stewart Law Offices will tell you everything you need to know about these three forms of alternative dispute resolution.
Negotiation is the most informal type of alternative dispute resolution, and is almost always attempted first. Negotiation involves the two sides meeting together and trying to reach a settlement without the help of a third party. This allows the parties themselves to control the process and reach a solution.
During mediation, both parties agree to meet with a mediator, who has no interest in the outcome of the case. The mediator’s job is simple: to act as a mutual third party and attempt to bring both sides together in order to reach an agreement. Many times, the mediator is another lawyer who can look at the facts and shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of both cases. Mediation is usually non-binding, meaning it is up to the two parties to reach a compromise.
Like mediation, arbitration involves both sides meeting with a neutral third party. Unlike a mediator, the arbitrator does have the power to render a judgment. Arbitrations can be held before a single arbitrator or a panel of three. The arbitrator(s) will listen to both parties present their evidence and testimonies before making a decision that both parties must adhere to, whether they like it or not. In this sense, arbitration can best be described as an “informal” trial.
Even though alternative dispute resolution doesn’t involve the motions of a court trial, it is still a good idea to seek professional legal representation. If you live in North Carolina or South Carolina, trust the attorneys at Stewart Law Offices to handle your personal injury claim. Whether through litigation, mediation, arbitration, or negotiation, we will help you secure the compensation you are entitled to.
Ready to speak with one of our personal injury lawyers? Contact us online to get started with a free case evaluation, or call (803) 408-7352