Auto Accident Attorney: Using Mediation and Arbitration

When most people think about hiring an auto accident attorney,

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 they envision a long trial dramatically decided by a jury of 12. While there is no denying that this sometimes happens, it is far more common for these matters to be decided before ever going to court. Many lawyers and insurance companies prefer to handle matters through mediation or arbitration rather than leaving things in the hands of a jury. Juries can be notoriously unpredictable, and neither side wants to rely on this randomness when it comes to getting the matter finished. While it may not sound quite as exciting, these methods of reaching an agreement can be very effective.


An effective auto accident attorney will know how to use the concept of mediation to their advantage. What is mediation? This process is where two parties who do not agree on a subject enter into discussions that are guided by a neutral third party. Used in a variety of settings for a number of reasons, it has become a popular way to bring negotiations to an end for personal injury cases. Often, retired judges will be used as the mediators, ensuring a fair and legal setting where both parties can expect to be treated fairly. In many cases, the mediator will be entrusted with making the final decision should the two parties be unable to reach an agreement.


Arbitration is somewhat similar to taking the case to court. Instead of the usual civil trial setting, there will be elected an arbitrator. Sometimes there will be a panel of individuals charged with acting as the “jury” in the case. They will hear the case as presented by both the auto accident attorney and the defending party. The panel or individual serving as arbitrator will then make the decision as to who wins and how much money is to be awarded. Some criticism of the arbitration process is that it brings a similar level of unpredictability to the proceedings as putting it before a jury.


Arbitration and mediation are often chosen as alternatives to a jury trial for a number of reasons. Many an auto accident attorney will encourage their client to take advantage of these alternatives simply because of the decreased cost and time involved. Bringing a case to trial can sometimes take years. For a victim with outstanding medical bills and other financial hardships, this can be difficult to swallow. Taking the case to arbitration or mediation can speed up the process and bring the case to an efficient and fair end. skype mediation

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