Personal injury claims are a form of resolving a dispute based on fault. Other ways of resolving disputes are arbitration and mediation. They are referred to as alternate forms of resolution as they take a different route from resolving matters in court. This article and a subsequent one will discuss mediation and arbitration as alternate forms of dispute resolution.
It must be noted that both mediation and arbitration are private ways of resolving a dispute. While personal injury claims are court cases and have a public record, arbitration and mediation do not. And it is because of such privacy that parties may choose this form dispute resolution.
Mediation as Dispute Resolution
Mediation and arbitration allow for parties to create their own ground rules when settling their dispute. This includes aspects such as:
- The type of evidence that can be presented
- What kinds of experts can be consulted
- Concepts the final agreement will be based on
Between mediation and arbitration, mediation is the more informal of the processes for resolving a dispute. The mediator is neutral and helps parties to negotiate coming up with a resolution to the dispute. The parties themselves are responsible for coming to an agreement. Therefore, it is not the mediator’s job to make a decision for the parties or impose a decision upon them. All the mediator does is listen to both sides and gives suggestions to help them resolve their dispute.
The main advantage of mediation is that the parties are more likely to act on the agreement. This is because the parties are actively involved in coming up with a resolution. However, the main disadvantage is that parties may not be able to come to an agreement. When this happens, they end up going to court anyway.
Many say that the main advantage to alternate dispute resolution is that is saves on time and money. An additional advantage is there is a greater degree of being predictable compared to trial.
Speak to your attorney for advice on alternate dispute resolution in your case.