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Key Differences Between Mediation and Arbitration

Lawyers are mediating disputes

When two parties are looking to reach an agreement within a legal battle or even a general conflict, they may utilize mediation or arbitration with the help of a professional. Both are means of resolving an issue outside of a courtroom and can also be referred to as alternative dispute resolution. The main difference between the two is how the conflict is ultimately resolved. 

With mediation, the final decision will be made by the two conflicting parties. Arbitration utilizes the professional analysis of an attorney to reach a final verdict. Both are effective tools used in various areas, including personal injury settlements, divorce, child custody battles, and other interpersonal conflicts. If you are currently seeking the assistance of a knowledgeable and steadfast attorney to help with your alternative dispute resolution, McPherson & Thomas, P.A. has put together a guide on the differences between the two with guidance on which solution may best suit your situation. 

Understanding the Benefits of Mediation

Mediation involves a mediator, a neutral third party whose job is to guide the two conflicting parties to a resolution that both feel comfortable with. Mediators are highly qualified individuals who specialize in conflict resolution and legal knowledge. Their job is to act as a collaborator instead of a decision maker. 

Mediation is a non-legally binding process, and if the two parties cannot resolve their issue, no agreement is made. If a decision can be reached, mediation is a quicker and cheaper alternative to going through court. It is also commonly more cost-effective than arbitration. Many users of mediation enjoy the freedom it allows and the results it provides. Specifically, in cases where mediation is used in personal injury claims, you may find the settlement offers are higher than they would typically be. 

Understanding the Benefits of Arbitration

Arbitration, on the other hand, involves an arbitrator. This is also a neutral third party, though instead of guiding the two parties to a conclusion, they will devise one of their own using analysis. The process can be compared to a miniature version of court, where both parties will present their side to the arbitrator. It is considerably less formal, however, and also moves quicker and costs less than court. 

Once both sides have been considered, the arbitrator will reach their decision. Depending on the stipulations of the agreement, this decision may or may not be legally binding. This is an excellent way for individuals to reach a decision if they believe they will be unable to do so on their own accord. Occasionally, both processes will be utilized if a party cannot reach an agreement they both are happy with. 

Have Questions? Consult a Distinguished Attorney Today

At the end of the day, the decision between arbitration or mediation is yours to make. If you are unsure of which would be the most beneficial to you and your future, the team of attorneys at McPherson & Thomas, P.A. are here to provide our expertise and knowledge to help make the decision. With over 25 years of experience and many documented successes under our belt, you are in good hands with our team when it comes to arranging an outcome that works for both parties involved.

If you are looking to settle your personal injury claim with a mediator today, look no further than McPherson & Thomas, P.A. To schedule a free consultation today, please call our office at (727) 848-8892 or use our contact form.

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