When you’ve been injured in an accident, you’re entitled to have both your medical bills paid for and money in your pocket for pain and suffering. However, many injured victims are hesitant about pursuing a personal injury claim because they believe filing a claim means they’ll be involved in a dramatic trial scene like they’ve seen on television or in movies. Statistically, the likelihood of your case ever seeing the inside of a courtroom is very small. There are many reasons for this but the main ones includes the expense, the unpredictability of juries, and the fact that the process could take several years to resolve.
In our experience, people feel overwhelmed by the legal system in general, but we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. The majority of cases can be settled by sending a demand (which includes all of your medical bills and records) to the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier and negotiating until a reasonable agreement is reached on the value of your claim. If an agreement cannot be reached, a lawsuit must be filed, but that still does not mean you’re headed straight to the courthouse.
If a lawsuit must be filed, there are alternative dispute resolution programs that can be utilized. Two of the most popular are arbitration and mediation described below:
Arbitration is an informal hearing in front of an arbitrator. The arbitrator is a neutral lawyer selected at random who acts as judge and jury for your claim and makes a decision on liability and/or damages. They hear evidence and testimony and both parties are given an opportunity to present their case. Arbitration can be binding or non-binding. In a binding arbitration, the arbitrator’s decision is final and cannot be appealed. In a non-binding arbitration, either party can appeal the arbitrator’s decision. Unlike trial, arbitration is essentially a private procedure and the results are not part of the public record. Furthermore, arbitration is a much quicker and less expensive way to resolve your case than going to trial.
Mediation is a negotiation with the assistance of a neutral third party. The mediator helps parties reach a settlement by assisting with communications, obtaining relevant information, and creating options. Unlike arbitration, there is no resolution unless all parties agree. Mediation is popular because the parties are brought together in an environment where they can freely and confidentially present their position and can benefit from hearing the other party’s point of view. Furthermore, mediation is less costly and if successful, provides a result in a much quicker amount of time.
Craig P. Kenny & Associates is a law firm committed to the client. That means we are always working hard to get you the best outcome possible. In many cases, this can be achieved through simple negotiations. However, every case is different, and if we don’t think the insurance company is offering you the settlement you deserve, we are not afraid to litigate. But remember, even in the litigation stage of your case, there are many ways to get you the outcome you deserve without stepping foot in the courtroom. We have your best interest in mind and our skilled personal injury attorneys will know how to make the process as efficient and stress-free as possible. If you have been injured in an accident please call Craig P. Kenny & Associates today at (702) 380-2800.