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How to Resolve Personal Injury Cases

The Common Methods of Resolving a Personal Injury Case

It is estimated that only 4% of personal injury cases go to trial. While it's your right to have a judge or jury hear your story, it's also possible to obtain a favorable resolution through mediation or arbitration. Let's take a closer look at how cases can be resolved and how to decide which method may be best for your matter.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is typically a collaborative process where parties to an accident attempt to negotiate a settlement in a timely and reasonable manner. For this method, an Allentown accident lawyer could represent your interests during negotiation sessions. In fact, it's relatively common to have legal counsel attend such sessions to advise their clients about their rights and how to protect them. In many cases, a judge will order that the parties to an accident attempt to negotiate a settlement before setting a court date. Therefore, it's generally a good idea to have at least one negotiating session before deciding to go to court. It's important to note that you can still try to negotiate a settlement even after a trial has begun.

What Is Arbitration?

Arbitration is somewhat of a cross between mediation and litigation. It's like mediation in that the case is decided by a neutral party. However, it's similar to litigation in that the parties in the matter can usually introduce evidence, call witnesses and take other steps that are typically seen at trial. Once an arbiter rules, his or her ruling generally cannot be appealed. Furthermore, the ruling itself is generally kept confidential, which means that you can't talk about it without risking further penalties. Arbitration may be worth pursuing if you want to resolve the matter in a relatively short period of time. The less time it takes to come to a decision in your case, the less money you'll spend on legal fees. It can also be worth pursuing if you want to have greater control over who gets to hear your case.

What Is Litigation?

Litigation is the process of taking a personal injury or any other matter to court. In a formal trial, a judge or jury will evaluate the evidence presented by both the plaintiff and the defendant. After each side has presented its case, a judge or jury will decide whether the plaintiff is entitled to damages. Litigation may be best if you don't think that the person who caused your injuries will negotiate a settlement in good faith. It can also be ideal if you want to ensure that there are established rules that must be followed in determining the outcome of your case. You should know that litigation can be expensive, and it isn't uncommon for a lawsuit to take months or years to resolve. This is because a person or entity that's liable for damages could appeal a ruling. If you're planning on filing a lawsuit, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to do so.

Your Attorney Can Help You Decide How to Proceed

An Allentown accident lawyer can help you decide what type of action to take against the at-fault party that has hurt you. Your attorney may also be able to help organize evidence such as witness statements or video footage of the incident that caused your injuries. After reviewing the evidence in your case, a legal representative might determine whether multiple parties may be liable for damages. This may be necessary if a person who hurt you was performing services for an employer when the accident occurred. In such a scenario, the employer could be named as a defendant in the case. If you need legal representation, contact the lawyers at Metzger & Kleiner today. We're prepared to look after your best interests. You can call our Lehigh Valley office by dialing (610) 435-7400. If you're in Philadelphia, you can reach us at our office there at (215) 567-6616.

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