Settling Personal Injury Claims: Types of Alternative Dispute Resolution

A lot of injured accident victims are hesitant about seeking compensation for their damages because of the idea of going to court and testifying before a judge or jury. Although some personal injury cases go to trial, the majority of them get resolved outside of court. This happens when both sides negotiate an agreeable settlement. Such negotiations are known as alternative dispute resolution or ADR. If you suffered an injury in an accident because of the negligent actions of another party, you should consult Orange County personal injury lawyers to know the different types of ADRs. The following are types of ADR you can consider:

Settlement Negotiations

To start a settlement negotiation, your lawyer will send a demand letter to the insurance company of the liable party that states the facts of your claim, evidence that supports your injuries, and the compensation amount you are demanding. After the letter is sent, the recipient should respond to it by the stated deadline. In general, an insurance company will make an offer for less than what you will demand. Then, your lawyer can make counteroffers and the insurance company will also do so before they can reach an agreement. After reading an agreement, you agree to release the insurer and the liable party from future liability in exchange for the settlement. 


In this ADR, a mediator listens to what every side demands and concerns while they try to create a settlement that both parties can agree on. In general, the mediation process is sought by many injury victims if settlement negotiations fail before they file a lawsuit. 


During the arbitration, an objective party decides how to resolve the injury claim. You can decide to use this process to avoid court costs that can reduce the amount of settlement you may receive. Often, this process doesn’t occur unless you and the other side agree to it. And when you both agree, you should decide whether the decision of the arbitrator is binding, or can’t be appealed. 

A lot of injury victims choose arbitration because it is cheaper and more private than lawsuits. In some instances, this ADR may be your only option to resolve some types of disputes. Many insurance companies include clauses in their contracts that require resolving disputes through arbitration. This is often seen in personal injury protection policies. 

If you suffered an injury in an accident that resulted from the negligence of another party, you can pursue compensation for the damages you incurred. Your option to pursue compensation depends on the circumstances that surround your case.