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Mediation and Arbitration in Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury cases involve a different set of dynamics than other kinds of mediation cases. There is no long-term relationship which needs to be maintained, as with mediation in a landlord tenant case or a business partnership, and the parties do not have a long-standing, complicated relationship to unravel, as in domestic relations cases. Mediation and non-binding arbitration are two types of alternative dispute resolution. “Alternative to what?” you may ask. The answer: to a court proceeding. Use of an alternative dispute mechanism is not really a method of evaluation. In this blog post, we will be talking about mediation and non-binding arbitration in Florida.

Mediation in Personal Injury Cases 

If a case settles in mediation, the matter is considered completely resolved. The claimant walks away with a check and the insurance company walks away with a settled claim. Personal injury cases most appropriate for mediation are ones in which the insurance company admits total or partial liability for the accident and the main question is the extent of damages. Mediation is facilitated negotiation. The parties negotiate with the help of a neutral person, the mediator, who is trained to help people work out their differences. In some states the court may require you to attend a mediation, but no one can force you into a deal you don’t want. Private mediation is always an option for settling your case. In private mediation, the parties choose their mediator. Usually, they split the responsibility for paying the mediator’s fees. Mediation is confidential. Typically, parties meet and then separate so each side groups in a separate room, called a caucus room. The mediator shuttles between the rooms. Disclosures to the mediator are not subject to discovery, and the mediator cannot be subpoenaed. You can tell the mediator the weaknesses of your case as well as the strengths to get help resolving the case. You control what information the mediator shares with the other side. Mediation may be the first place you hear the other side’s evaluation of your case including the reasoning they used to reach that number. Because the mediator has probably seen many cases like yours, the mediator can help you figure out if you and your opponent can come to a compromise. 

Arbitration in Personal Injury Cases 

Arbitration is an evidentiary proceeding, not a negotiation. Like mediation, it is private and the parties are usually responsible for compensating the mediator. Rules of evidence are usually relaxed and this saves time compared to a court proceeding. At the conclusion of the arbitration, the arbitrator makes a ruling which is called an award. In binding arbitration, the parties are bound to the results as they would be with a court judgment. Unlike a court judgment, there is no appeal. Non-binding arbitration is different because any party who does not like the result can reject it and go to trial. 

Speak with a Miami Car Accident Lawyer Today! 

With the help of a qualified personal injury lawyer, injury victims can meet with a representative from the insurance company and/or defense counsel to settle their claim against the insurance company. At Suarez & Montero, the majority of personal injury cases we mediate involve automobile accidents and slip and falls. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against any responsible parties. Depending on the situation, the driver, owner, or manufacturer may be asked to enter mediation with you by a court. Our legal team of Miami car accident lawyers have decades of experience handling mediation with insurance companies and defense attorneys. With an extensive understanding of personal injury law, our team of attorneys can work with you every step of the way, offering the expert legal guidance you need to win your case. We will take care of all legal matters that relate to your claim or lawsuit and develop the best legal strategy for your individual case to ensure the successful recovery. We will not rest until we have developed and presented the most persuasive argument possible, and ensure you receive fair and just compensation for your damages. After being involved in a car accident, the last thing you want to think about is filing a lawsuit. However, you deserve compensation for your injuries and property damage. A consultation appointment takes less than an hour in most cases, and if you have unrecovered losses, it could wind up being one of the best investments of your time that you’ll ever make. Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation and stand ready to protect your rights. We are available 24/7 to give you a free, no risk case consultation! 

We serve clients throughout Florida including those in the following areas: 

Miami-Dade: Aventura, Coral Gables, Doral, Fontainebleau, Hialeah, Homestead, Kendall, Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Lakes, North Miami, Tamiami, and Westchester. 

Broward: Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, and Weston; and Palm Beach County including Boca Raton, Lake Worth, and West Palm Beach.