Typically, in Connecticut, personal injury cases are resolved one of two ways: by trial or by settlement. Certainly, those two options remain viable and are the most popular methods of disposition. However, in smaller personal injury claims, experienced lawyers may readily resolve cases by binding arbitration or mediation. Trials can become expensive and choosing one of these two options can save money when it comes to court costs and attorney’s fees.
When faced with arbitration or mediation, personal injury plaintiffs often ask about the difference between them and which is the best method for resolving their case. Though every Connecticut personal injury lawsuit is different, an experienced attorney can evaluate the facts and offer skilled legal guidance.
What Is Arbitration?
Arbitration can be more complicated than mediation. In arbitration, each party chooses an arbitrator, who act as a judge in the case. When those two arbitrators are chosen, the arbitrator duo then chooses a third to also hear the case. The parties can also agree to one arbitrator from the outset of the arbitration instead of using three arbitrators.
The three-person arbitration panel, or single arbitrator, then decides the outcome of the case. Usually the panel is given free rein to determine an award amount, but occasionally the parties can agree on an acceptable low to high monetary award range in which the panel can award from. All in all, arbitration can lead to a swifter resolution of the case and a fair verdict.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is another form of alternative dispute resolution that is available in Connecticut personal injury claims. While mediation is traditionally used more often in divorce and child custody cases, it can also be an effective means of resolving personal injury matters. More often than not, mediation is court ordered, and a mediator is appointed by the judge. However, mediation may be agreed upon by the parties generally at any time. Usually the mediator is an attorney who is familiar with the area of law at issue and the types of resolutions that typically occur in those cases. The mediator essentially serves as a one person judge and jury. He or she will hear the facts as presented from each side and arrives at a proposed disposition.
Note that mediation is voluntary and not binding on any Connecticut personal injury plaintiff or the defense. In the event that each party is happy with the mediator’s decision, it can be a much speedier and effective method to resolve personal injury cases that may not see trial for years after filing.
Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys Today
If you have been involved in any type of personal injury claim, such as a car, truck, or bus accident, please contact the skilled Hartford personal injury lawyers at Woolf Law Firm, LLC. Our arbitration and mediation attorneys can help you decide on the best course of action based on your individual rights and needs. Call 890-290-8690, or toll free at 800-923-0557, to schedule an initial consultation.