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If you are involved a legal claim or lawsuit, you may come to a point in which your case will go to arbitration, mediation, or litigation. Each of these terms might sound similar, but all three are different. Your personal injury lawyer can further explain these terms to you in better detail as your case moves closer to one of these outcomes. For now, it may be a good idea to have a general idea of what each term means so you know what to expect.


Litigation is generally not something people want to go through; in short, it means going to court. It is often time-consuming, costly, and stressful. Because a judge or jury decides upon the outcome of the case, litigation can be very unpredictable. Typically, a personal injury lawyer in DC only pursues litigation after trying all other routes of navigation without reaching a settlement.

Mediation and Arbitration

Alternative dispute resolution is the more preferred method to handle a case. Mediation and arbitration are examples of alternative dispute resolution in DC. While they are ideal alternatives to litigation, and can be used in conjunction with litigation, there are differences between the two.

Both of these methods take advantage of an unbiased, or neutral, third party who will oversee the entire process. Arbitration and mediation can both be binding which means the decision cannot be appealed in a court. However, mediation is typically non-binding, while arbitration is binding and essentially acts as a replacement for a trial.


Arbitration may be overseen by a panel of arbitrators. These individuals take on a role similar to a judge. They will review evidence, listen to testimony, give written opinions, and make decisions. Arbitration can be conducted with one arbitrator, but most cases will involve at least two arbitrators, with one on each side of the disputing parties. These two arbitrators will then decide on a third arbitrator to join the panel. After they have heard and reviewed all the facts, there will a vote with the majority resulting in the final decision.


Mediation typically includes one mediator, the disputing parties, and each party’s’ lawyer (when applicable). A mediator does not judge a case, but instead helps to facilitate productive communication and eventually a resolution. Mediation attempts to put issues in the right perspective and allow those involved to talk things out in a healthy manner. The atmosphere is generally much more relaxed than litigation or arbitration, which can aid in the overall comfort level of each party. Mediation can be used in any dispute, is usually non-binding and confidential.

Mediation has become increasingly popular in the US with some states, such as Florida, requiring it before a case can go to trial. Mediation also has promising success rates and is far more cost-effective than litigation in DC. If you have a strong preference for settling a dispute through mediation, it is best to find a personal injury lawyer DC offers who understands this.

Things To Keep in Mind About Mediation

  • Mediation is generally less hostile and less confrontational.
  • Most mediators are also lawyers.
  • Mediators typically cannot give legal advice during a mediation, so it is a good idea to hire your own DC personal injury lawyer.
  • Mediators are not supposed to make any conclusions about each party’s position and merit.
  • Both parties should enter into a pre-mediation contract before a mediation.
  • The contract should include a variety of elements including the length of the mediation, who will be present, the cost, who will pay, and whether or not it is non-binding.
  • If a mediation is not successful, it results in an impasse. The next option might be arbitration or litigation.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer DC Has To Offer

If you’ve been injured in an accident due to the negligence of another person, don’t hesitate to contact a top personal injury lawyer DC can provide. While not every accident can result in a personal injury settlement, there are many different situations where a personal injury accident could justify taking legal action.

If you are unsure about whether or not your injuries might be serious enough to claim financial damages, The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C may be able to help. We have provided legal counsel to countless accident victims and have helped them obtain financial compensation for their pain and suffering. To schedule a free case evaluation with a top personal injury lawyer DC trusts, contact The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. today.


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