Alternative Dispute Resolution: Mediation and Arbitration

What is alternative dispute resolution (ADR)? ADR is a method of resolving a disputed claim without the need for a trial. Arbitration and mediation are both ADR methods used in personal injury accident cases.

Benefits of ADR and When It May Be Used

Some of the benefits of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) include:

  • Minimizing costs
  • Resolving matters quickly
  • More predictability
  • Confidentiality: A trial is public, but ADR can be kept confidential.
  • Control: The parties to the dispute determine the resolution, not a judge or jury.
  • Rules are more flexible and efficient
  • Preserves goodwill without escalating the conflict
  • Keeps you from taking your injury case to court

ADR may be used in a variety of personal injury cases, including but not limited to:

  • Automobile and truck accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Construction accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Trip-and-falls and slip-and-falls
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Wrongful death
  • Medical malpractice

Differences Between a Mediation and Arbitration

Arbitration and mediation are sometimes mistakenly used interchangeably. Arbitration and mediation are very different processes, and both utilize different methods to resolve a dispute.


This is the less formal of the two methods. The role of the mediator is to help the parties find common ground and direct the discussion to arrive at a resolution.

The mediator will usually speak privately with each side multiple times. Neither side is bound by the mediator’s recommendation. If the mediation is successful, a written document is drafted and signed by the parties.


In an arbitration, both sides argue their case to an independent arbitrator, usually a retired judge. If both parties agree to binding arbitration, both sides are bound by the arbitrator’s decision.

The rules of arbitration are less strict. Evidentiary rules do not necessarily apply. Attorneys for the parties will provide submissions to the arbitrator. These submissions usually include police reports, medical records, photographs, and any other information helpful to their case.

Testimony can also be provided at the arbitration. The role of an arbitrator is to review the submissions, listen to the testimony, and then issue a written decision. This decision would determine the amount of compensation, if any, awarded to the plaintiff.

Speak with a Dispute Resolution Attorney

The personal injury attorneys at Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP have extensive experience handling mediations and arbitrations. We process cases quickly while maximizing the recovery for our clients.

The motto of the New York accident lawyers at Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP is “Don’t Be A Victim Twice.” If you are a victim of an accident in New York, call 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) to schedule a free case evaluation.

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