Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods

Posted Sunday, October 8, 2017 by Chris Thayer

Have you been injured in an accident? Are you seeking damages from the wrongdoer in a personal injury lawsuit? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, it is important to understand all of your legal options.

While you might imagine pleading your case before a judge and jury, not every personal injury claim is resolved in a courtroom. In fact, it is often cheaper and less time-consuming to resolve claims through arbitration or mediation. Generally everyone involved in the dispute must agree to arbitration or mediation, but sometimes a contract or court will mandate the alternative resolution process.

What is Arbitration?

In arbitration, the parties present their arguments to a neutral third party outside of the court system. This third party is called an arbitrator. An arbitrator may be an attorney but does not have to be. Unlike judges, arbitrators handle cases in private and try to help the parties reach an agreement. Under Washington law, an arbitrator’s decision is final, binding, enforceable, and usually non-appealable.

Here is how the arbitration process typically works:

What is Mediation?

In mediation, the parties involved in the dispute will meet with an impartial third person. This person is called the mediator, who will try to help the parties reach a settlement agreement. Unlike an arbitrator, mediators do not issue decisions or apportion fault. They also do not hear witness testimony or examine evidence. Their job is to help parties communicate and to set forth options. While mediators are often lawyers, they do not have to be.

Here is how the mediation process works:

Anything you say at a mediation session is confidential and cannot be used against you later in a legal proceeding if the dispute is not settled.

Contact Us Today

Contact one of our personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation if you or a loved one have been injured in an accident. Our experienced attorneys will discuss your legal options – including arbitration, mediation and litigation – and help you recover compensation for your injuries.