New York Accidents–Alternative Dispute Resolution

If you are injured in a New York car crash, a Westchester slip and fall accident, a Bronx dog bite, or Brooklyn construction accident, (among numerous other types of accidents) after you have consulted an attorney and started a lawsuit or claim, there is another possible way to resolve your case with the insurance company or defendant. Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR, has become a frequently used method of resolving cases.

The two basic types of dispute resolution in New York car crashes or New York slip and fall cases are mediation and arbitration. In a mediation, the two sides agree to an impartial mediator, usually a retired judge, and submit written submissions with their respective positions in the case. At the mediation, the judge listens to a brief statement from each side, then commences negotiating with both parties to try to work out a settlement. The parties are not obligated to agree to the judge’s settlement recommendation, but in my experience, approximately 75% of cases do settle when they go to mediation.

In an arbitration, the big distinction is that unlike a mediation, the judge’s decision is binding on the parties. The arbitration is similar to a mini trial, with parties questioning and cross examining witnesses, and testimony from experts such as treating doctors. Unless the judge makes a substantial error in his determination of the facts and the law, the decision in an arbitration is final. At The Law Office of Mark A. Siesel in White Plains, New York, we prefer mediation to arbitration and encourage our clients to consider mediation to resolve their case. Mediation is much faster than going to trial (often, a case can be mediated within the first year after the accident), much less costly (there is no need to have the treating doctor testify in Court, which in 2009, generally costs between $7,500 to $10,000), and the process is non-adversarial.

Contact the White Plains personal injury attorneys at The Law Office Of Mark A. Siesel online or toll free at 914-761-7633 for a free consultation with an experienced, knowledgeable attorney–we provide skilled and dedicated representation to our clients and personal attention to your case.