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Settling Buffalo Personal Injury Cases Without Going To Trial.April 24, 2013
Most personal injury cases in Western New York can be settled without the need for a trial. There are several different ways this can happen.
In some situations, a personal injury lawyer may be able to recover damages simply through negotiations with the insurance company representing the negligent party. In such cases, you may not even have to file a personal injury lawsuit. Instead, your attorney will gather evidence of the other party’s negligence and your injury, which will be presented to the insurance company. The sides will then try to reach an agreement on the value of the case.
Even if a personal injury lawsuit is filed, these negotiations often continue. Also, the parties may participate in mediation or arbitration. Mediation is simply another form of negotiations between the two sides, but with the oversight of a third, neutral person. This neutral person will hear each side’s position and offer opinions in an attempt to move them closer together. Mediation may continue until either a settlement is reached or it becomes clear the sides will never reach any agreement.
In some personal injury cases, the parties agree to settle a case in arbitration. In arbitration, each side presents its evidence to a panel of one or three “arbitrators” who decide on the dollar value of the case. The final decision of this panel is binding. Arbitration is conducted somewhat like a trial, but less formally. The participants usually sit at a table, not in a courtroom, and evidence may be presented in a less formal manner. So, for example, evidence that would require the testimony of a doctor in court may be submitted through medical records or signed statements.
If you have suffered a personal injury and have any questions about how a case can be settled, please call us at 716-400-0000.