Ways to Resolve a Car Accident Lawsuit

This is the question hundreds of people involved in accidents ask daily. If the wreck is not their fault, they have a right to recover all of the expenses from their medical insurance for car accident and auto insurance bodily injury coverage. And sometimes attorneys have to get involved to protect someone’s rights. But many of these claims never see a court room. In fact, most of them are settled out of court. If you don’t want to settle out of court you do have options.

Mediation

In mediation, both parties meet with a mediator to see if they can resolve the issue. The mediator cannot make any decisions but facilitates discussion. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  recommends mediation to settle its disputes as do most family courts. The process has several advantages:

  • Mediation is less expensive. Litigation requires attorneys’ fees and court fees. Mediation can cost thousands of dollars less.
  • The process is fair and neutral. Both parties can speak their minds in a non-threatening environment.
  • The process is confidential. In most cases, an agreement is signed stating that nothing will be discussed outside of mediation.
  • You have a say in how the lawsuit is resolved. If you go to court, a judge will determine what happens. Mediation puts more power in your hands.  
  • It can be a win-win for both sides. Studies show that up to 75 percent of participants walk away from the table happy.

Arbitration

Arbitration differs in that someone does make the decision. Unfortunately, that decision cannot be appealed. If you go into arbitration, you still may want to have an attorney who can look out for your best interest.

The upside of arbitration is that it costs less than a lawsuit even though the fees for arbitrators could be very expensive as well. Like mediation, you will meet with the other party outside of court. While the arbitrator listens to both sides like the mediator, he or she is listen for facts and evidence so that a decision can be made. This is why an attorney is important to guide you as to what evidence is relevant and what evidence is not.

Other scenarios

Sometimes your dispute is with your insurance company because it is failing to pay your car accident insurance claim. You can file a dispute with the state insurance commissioner’s office. You can find the insurance commissioner for your state at www.naic.com.

Don’t take a check from an insurance company attempting to settle out of court without first consulting an attorney. If you settle and later on have complications from your injuries, you can’t go back and ask for more money if you settled.

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