Personal Injury

Defining Alternative Dispute Resolution & Mediation

Most people have heard the term arbitration, but few people truly understand what alternative dispute resolution entails and what options are out there.  Arbitration is typically a word you hear mentioned in the news or you see when rapidly scrolling through a contract on itunes.   The truth is many civil cases, including car accident injury cases, are resolved through alternative dispute resolution.

Defining Arbitration & Mediation

The two most common types of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) are arbitration and mediation.  The main difference between the two is that arbitration is usually binding on the parties, whereas mediation is typically nonbinding and less formal.  Mediation can be a great tool for reaching settlement in inury cases where the parties have reached a stalemate.  During mediation a nonbiased person (mediator) serves as a go-between for the parties.  The mediator is usually trained in mediation practices and is often an attorney with experience in the area from which the dispute arises.

Every mediation is different, and different mediators have different styles and different ways of doing things.  Many mediators use caucusing during their mediations.  Caucusing is where the parties to the mediation are separated and the mediator goes back and forth between the parties in an attempt to facilitate discussion and further negotiation.  The mediator will try to give an unbiased opinion as to how he or she views the case, and will carry information back and forth between the parties.

Tools of Pratice

Mediation is a great tool for resolving legal disputes without trial  Having a knowledgeable unbiased party available to facilitate discussion and provide insight, combined with having both parties together at the same time to discuss settlement often times yields better results than the more adversarial trial process.  Furthermore, one of the best things about mediation is that it is nonbinding, and if either party is dissatisfied they can walk away at any time.

Chandler | Conway

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