When Should You Consider Mediation or Arbitration for Your Car Accident Claim?
When it comes to recovering financial compensation for damages and losses after a car accident, most people imagine going to court. While litigation can be a good option for some cases, your Nevada personal injury lawyer may suggest arbitration or mediation as a more advantageous way to settle your dispute. These two methods are increasing in popularity and may even be required before the case can go to trial.
After you’ve been injured in an accident, your attorney will submit a demand to the at-fault driver’s insurance company as part of your claim. Frequently, the insurance company will offer a low sum and then increase their amount as your attorney negotiates on your behalf. It’s important to ensure that the severity of all of your injuries is known so you can determine a fair settlement amount that will cover all of your needs.
Sometimes, insurance companies are unwilling to reasonably settle a claim. When this happens, your attorney may recommend mediation or arbitration to resolve the dispute without the risk of going to court. Both of these alternatives to court can be useful, and in many situations, can alleviate the need to go to trial as the parties are able to come to a resolution outside of court.
What are the Benefits of Resolving a Dispute Outside of Court?
There are many benefits to alternative dispute resolution:
- Confidentiality: Cases in court will become part of public record, but using solving your dispute through arbitration or mediation is private.
- Less expensive: You won’t pay the legal fees or court fees that are required if your case needs to go to litigation.
- Faster resolution: No need to wait months for a hearing or trial.
- Personal resolution: Your dispute will be resolved by the parties who are facing the conflict rather than leaving the decision up to a judge or jury.
Your Las Vegas car accident lawyer will guide you through the arbitration or mediation processes and provide representation from start to finish, just like they would in litigation.
What is the Difference between Mediation & Arbitration?
Although similar, these two approaches to conflict resolution have distinct differences, and one option may be better for you than the other. Both methods use a third party to oversee the conversations and either method can be binding or non-binding. You and the other party will have the ability to choose the facilitator.
This is the less formal approach of the two methods. In most cases, a single mediator will be employed who will work with you and the at-fault driver (and the involved insurance companies) to settle the dispute. The mediator is not a judge, but will work to facilitate conversation and attempt to help both parties settle. Mediation is typically non-binding.
This is more formal and may involve multiple arbitrators, one selected by each party and a third selected by the other two arbitrators. In most cases, both parties will agree in advance that arbitration is binding. Both parties will be required to adhere to the findings of the arbitrators as they facilitate discussion and find solutions to resolve the conflict.
What to Expect in Mediation
Medication typically takes place in a conference room for a half or full day. These sessions are confidential and will not be considered at trial if negotiations are unsuccessful. Both parties will be given an opportunity to make statements, describe the facts that support their position, and provide evidence. Although your Las Vegas car accident law firm will represent you, you may be asked to speak. Your attorney will help you prepare a statement that expresses your emotions, damages, and limitations that resulted from the accident.
Once each party has made their statements, the mediator will ask questions to obtain further insight into the dispute. They may have private meetings with each participant and will work to negotiate with the parties. Sometimes, multiple mediation sessions are necessary for full resolution. If the mediation is successful, the mediator will draw up a document for both parties to sign. If mediation is not successful, parties may agree to a binding arbitration or choose to go to court.
What to Expect in Arbitration
These sessions are similar to mediation, except that the arbitrators have more power over the proceedings if both parties agree that the decisions are binding. This more formal method of conflict resolution is less expensive than going to trial and will settle much more quickly. Like mediation, several sessions may be required to reach a final agreement. If binding, you and the other parties must accept the results. As with mediation, your Las Vegas car accident lawyer will provide guidance and representation throughout the process.
Arbitration and mediation may not be the best choice for each case, but can be an effective method of solving a dispute and reaching a settlement without the added risk, time, and expense of going to trial. Your attorney will examine your situation and make a recommendation for the best way to solve your dispute after a Nevada car accident.
Consult with the Leading Car Accident Attorneys in Las Vegas
The attorneys at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC are experts in representing clients through mediation, arbitration, and litigation. When you work with us, you can feel confident that we will be by your side each step of the way as we work closely with you to find the best solutions for your case. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Las Vegas, contact our firm to discuss your case and learn more about your options.