Personal Injury and Arbitration
When you need to bring a personal injury claim in New Jersey, the process usually follows a fairly predictable course. Both your attorney and the insurance company involved will investigate the accident separately. They’ll both examine the facts of the case, and they’ll both accumulate the necessary evidence to uphold their claims. it’s then time to engage in a settlement negotiation in which both parties attempt to find a mutually satisfactory settlement agreement. Barring a successful settlement negotiation, your case will proceed to trial.
Mediation vs. Arbitration
There is room in this process, however, for significant variation, which often includes hiring a legal professional to serve as a neutral (or disinterested) third party who strives to help both parties reach a mutually agreeable settlement.
A mediator is hired to aid the negotiation process between you (through your attorney) and the insurance company and to attempt to bring the amounts of your settlement demand and the insurer’s settlement offer closer. Mediators are hired to find the point of balance in your case that both parties deem acceptable.
Arbitrators, on the other hand, are usually attorneys or judges with experience in personal injury law, and they do not get directly involved in the negotiations between the parties. Instead, an arbitrator acts as a substitute judge and listens to your claim in its entirety – from your attorney’s case presentation to the insurance adjuster’s. The arbitrator reads and evaluates the medical records and expert reports associated with your case before making a decision as to the appropriate outcome.
Mediation, in effect, serves as either a supplement to or as a substitute for the process of settlement negotiation, and arbitration serves as a supplement to or as a substitute for going to court. In general, mediation is nonbinding and arbitration can usually be either binding or nonbinding.
Arbitration can allow both parties to get a much clearer perspective on their case, and can be very useful in speeding up the process of litigation and in reducing overall legal expenses. However, the decision to go to arbitration is complicated, and you should carefully consider all the ramifications with an experienced personal injury lawyer before even considering entering into arbitration.
Contact a New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney Today
Personal injury claims are complex, and while options such as mediation and arbitration can help simplify the process, there is a great deal to consider before making such an important decision. That’s where an experienced personal injury lawyer with expertise in mediation and arbitration comes in. If either you or someone you care about is involved in a personal injury case, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Kurt M. Resch, PC. With over 35 years of experience in New Jersey, Kurt M. Resch has the skill and the dedication to help you accomplish the best possible outcome for your personal injury claim. Please give us a call at 201-488-5454 or contact us through our online form today.