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Alternatives to Litigation in a Personal Injury Case


If you suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, it’s important to understand that litigation isn’t the only way to resolve a personal injury action. Several alternative dispute resolution methods can be used to help ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve — rather than pursue the stressful and time-consuming litigation process. Negotiation, mediation, and arbitration are three ways to settle a personal injury case without going to trial.     


If you’ve been hurt due to another’s carelessness or recklessness and bring a claim against the responsible party, a personal injury attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. In fact, even if a lawsuit has been filed, most cases can be resolved through vigorous negotiations rather than proceeding to trial. Negotiations begin by demanding the insurance company — an experienced attorney will know how to properly value your claim and have a specific settlement amount in mind. They will also understand how to use the strengths of your case to your advantage during the settlement negotiation process. 

It’s important to know that once you reach a settlement with the insurance company and sign a release, you are barred from pursuing additional compensation from the at-fault party. This is why it’s vital to have a personal injury attorney by your side who can ensure you obtain a fair settlement for your injuries.                            


Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that can allow you to resolve your personal injury case with the help of a third party called a mediator. Unlike litigation, mediation is informal, voluntary, private, and confidential. The mediator does not make decisions like a judge; rather, both parties work together to determine a fair settlement. Even if mediation attempts fail and litigation is necessary, nothing said during the sessions can be used in the courtroom. 

After you and the defendant have reached a mediation agreement, you will sign a settlement which can be binding by the court. Significantly, one of the major benefits of mediation is that it allows you to remain in control of the outcome of your case. Not only does it help to reduce the stress that can come with pursuing a lawsuit, but it also can eliminate the uncertainty of litigation.             


Arbitration is another way to resolve your personal injury case outside of court. Not to be confused with mediation, arbitration uses a neutral third party called an arbitrator who will issue a decision. While arbitration is informal, it is similar to a mini-trial. The arbitrator will review the evidence and hear testimony in the case to reach a determination. Arbitration can be binding (meaning there is no right to appeal), or it can be non-binding and allow the parties to have the opportunity to request a trial in court.

Utilizing the arbitration process in a personal injury case can come with a number of benefits. For instance, a claim can usually be resolved much faster due to the flexibility in scheduling. The rules of evidence are much more relaxed in arbitration than they are during the traditional litigation process, and the terms of the agreement entered into are confidential. Before agreeing to arbitration, it’s best to discuss with your attorney whether this form of alternative dispute resolution is appropriate for your matter.               

Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney

If you’ve suffered injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can discuss whether a form of alternative dispute resolution is right for your case. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has represented accident victims for over three decades and provides aggressive advocacy to secure the best possible outcome in each unique case. Contact us today for a consultation.