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Salvi & Maher, L.L.C.

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What is the Difference Between Mediation and Arbitration in an Illinois Injury Case?

Lake County Personal Injury Lawyers Answer Your Questions Regarding Mediation and Arbitration

When we consult with clients to go over their personal injury case, they are often unsure what the difference is between having their case reviewed by a mediator or an arbitrator, and which option makes the most sense. A personal injury case can be mediated or arbitrated instead of going to trial before a judge or jury. A mediator or an arbitrator is typically a retired judge or attorney that has experience in the type of case being heard.

If your case goes the route of mediation, this is a non-binding process where the mediator aims to settle the case by reviewing it independently and persuades the parties to negotiate to find a resolution. During mediation, both sides of the case will provide relevant information prior to the start, such as written summaries, medical records, photos, accident reports, and a deposition testimony, so the mediator is familiar with all aspects of the case. You will not have to testify, but you will be given the opportunity to speak to the mediator in confidence, with one of our attorneys present, regarding any of your thoughts or concerns.

We stress the importance of understanding that the mediator of your case cannot require either party to take action, such as reducing a demand for compensation or increasing a settlement offer. The most that the mediator can do is make a recommendation that both sides are not bound to follow.

The main difference between mediation and arbitration is that during arbitration, an arbitrator has the authority to make a decision over both parties. This route is also more formal, as it includes calling of witnesses and presenting the evidence. Arbitrations can be binding, where the arbitrator’s award is final and there are generally no rights to appeal.

Contact Our Lake County Personal Injury Law Firm

Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. can help you understand the best methods for resolving your personal injury case, and which option is the smartest and most efficient way to present and win your case. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a lawyer at our office in Chicago, Waukegan, Richmond, or Wheaton, IL, call 847-662-3303.

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