A personal injury trial, just like any other type of formal litigation, can be expensive and lengthy which is why many parties aim to resolve issues through a method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).1 The popularity of alternative dispute resolution has increased because of the range of methods and since ADR is used in both voluntary and mandatory settings.2 Some of the leading types of alternative dispute resolution, which all aim to settle a legal dispute outside of the courtroom, include early neutral evaluation, negotiation, conciliation, arbitration, and mediation.3
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that focuses on conducting an informal negotiation through a neutral third party.4 There is no decision making in mediation, instead, the third party known as the mediator helps to resolve the dispute by finding common ground, debunking unrealistic expectations, offering creative solutions, supervising the exchange of information, balancing the bargaining process, interpreting concerns, relaying information between the parties, framing issues, defining problems, and assisting in the drafting of final settlements.5
Benefits of Mediation
Determining if mediation is a right choice or avenue to seeking settlement in a personal injury claim is a case by case decision. However, there are common benefits and reasons why participating in mediation is a good choice. Mediation in comparison to a trial is considered to be short term, structured, informal, task-oriented, and a hands on process that allows for party rather than judge control.6 There is a type of safety-net within mediation, because in the absence of a solution the parties return to where they were at prior to mediation.7 Also, mediation costs are usually minimal and split evenly between the parties and any statements or offers made in mediation are not allowed to be used in later stages of dispute.8 Working with an attorney can help you decide if mediation or any other form of alternative dispute resolution is appropriate as well as ensure that you are properly prepared for the resolution process.
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you have been harmed by another person or entity and now seek damages to recover for your losses, it is important to discuss the circumstances of your injury with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help to protect your legal rights and interests throughout the claim processes including during dispute resolution. To contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.