Do you have questions about the steps in your personal injury case? Watch this video about the arbitration and mediation process to learn more.
What should I know about the arbitration and mediation process?
Most of our cases are in the New York State Supreme Court, and when we proceed through that venue, we go to a trial in front of a jury. There are times when we can enter into an alternate dispute resolution. An alternate dispute resolution comes about in two major forms. Number one would be mediation. Mediation is either done through the court system or private counsel, where we bring in the parties to secure a number that we think is reasonable. Having a third-party non-biased person involved will help. Other times, we can engage in arbitration, which is a binding process.
For example, recently, we had a case where we decided to go into a mediation posture. During that mediation posture, we hired an attorney who acted as a go-between between us and the insurance company and their lawyers, and we did this instead of going to trial. We make that determination on a case by case basis. In this case, by going through a mediation process, it allowed us to refrain from hiring expensive doctors and an additional $60,000 of costs to try the case.
The insurance company in this case had offered us $100,000 to settle the case, and they were confident that was a number that a jury would give. We provided a detailed explanation of all the medicals with our experts and our financial position to the mediator. As a result of our papers, which the mediator indicated were compelling, we were able to quadruple that number in one day. We came into a range that ultimately I felt was reasonable – it was actually a little higher than I thought was reasonable – and we were able to settle the case without having to proceed through the jury trial and all the costs associated with that. We do this in some cases, but not all cases. It’s just a feel as to whether or not the insurance company will be in a position where they can be moved off of what would otherwise be a staunch position.
Were you or a loved one seriously injured in an accident and have questions about the arbitration and mediation process?
Contact an experienced Buffalo personal injury lawyer at Andrews, Bernstein, Maranto and Nicotra today for a free confidential consultation and case evaluation.
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