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The Difference Between Mediation And Mandatory Arbitration

In many California personal injury cases, it is in the interest of both parties to avoid litigation. Litigation can be expensive, it can be time-consuming and it can be an all around draining process. Ideally, the parties may be able to come to a fair settlement without going through the hassle of litigation. It is not always possible, but it can certainly be desirable in the many situations. Two common forms of alternative dispute resolution are mediation and mandatory arbitration. If you are in a situation where you are considering either of those two possibilities for your case, do not proceed without the professional assistance of an experienced Santa Rosa personal injury attorney.


Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution which aims to solve the issue through mutual agreement. If you reach a settlement in the mediation process, it means that both sides have come to a voluntary agreement. Usually, both parties in the mediation will hire a registered neutral third party to act as the mediator. The mediator’s goal is to try to facilitate a fair, mutually agreeable, settlement between the two sides of the dispute. The important thing to keep in mind is that settlement is completely voluntary and that compromise is prioritized.

Mandatory Arbitration

On the other hand, mandatory arbitration does not allow for a voluntary mutual agreement. Again the parties will hire a neutral third party, but this time, that third party is empowered as an arbitrator. The neutral arbitrator will hear both sides of the case and will then come to a binding decision. Essentially, mandatory arbitration is like a private, mini, speedy trial.

Which Form of Alternative Dispute Resolution is Right for My Case?

Alternative dispute resolution often makes sense, but currently, the majority of California personal injury cases are settled without litigation. But, it is also possible that a trial might necessary in your case. The bottom line is that you deserve a full and fair compensation for you injuries. Sometimes the best way to make that happen is to take your case to trial. Determining which legal path to take is best done by an experienced attorney who has had the time to fully review your case. The are benefits and drawbacks to every option and you need a personal injury attorney with experience handling California injury cases who can analyze your situation and figure out the best way to get you full and fair compensation.

Contact An Experienced Santa Rosa Personal Injury Attorney

The experienced legal team at the Teal Law Group can comprehensively evaluate your case and determine if alternative dispute resolution is right for you, or if a trial is in your best interest. Contact our office today to schedule a free legal consultation. 

Santa Rosa Office: 707-525-1212 Sacramento Office: 916-448-1010