Clients are often surprised to learn that the majority of civil lawsuits are resolved through settlement negotiations before trial. Only five percent of all civil lawsuits in the United States go to trial. Typically, the issue of liability is contested by defense counsel in these cases, and the case proceeds to trial.
Alternative Dispute Resolution and Judicial Resources
One reason so many civil lawsuits settle before trial is because of the development of alternative dispute resolution. The three primary forms of alternative dispute resolution are settlement negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. These three tools are used to reduce the number of cases on judges dockets and preserve judicial resources for the most complex cases.
Clients are often surprised to learn that the majority of civil lawsuits are resolved through settlement negotiations before trial. Only five percent of all civil lawsuits in the United States go to trial. Typically, the issue of liability is contested by defense counsel in these cases, and the case proceeds to trial. Settlement negotiations can occur at any time during a civil lawsuit. Some cases settle the night before a jury trial is set to begin. Most settlement negotiations are informal, and the parties will assert offers and counteroffers until they reach a settlement agreement. Some civil lawsuits settle earlier than others, depending on the specific facts associated with the cases.
If you are involved in a civil lawsuit, you will likely be invited to participate in mediation. A mediator speaks with both parties and promotes the settlement of the case. A mediator does not have authority to issue a binding decision that affects the rights of the parties.
Arbitration is more formal than mediation. The parties can participate in binding arbitration or non-binding arbitration. During binding arbitration the arbitrator has the power to issue a judgment and bind the parties. Many consumer contracts have arbitration clauses.
Resolving Conflict and Reducing Litigation Costs
Alternative dispute resolution helps parties resolve their conflicts. However, this is not the only benefit of alternative dispute resolution. Litigation costs both time and money. Attorneys, judges, witnesses, and jurors may all spend inordinate amounts of time involved in litigation. Alternative dispute resolution helps reduce the overall costs of litigation by preserving judicial resources.
Most Defendants Do Not Want to Go To Trial
Defense counsel in personal injury cases does not want to go to trial because the costs outweigh the potential benefits. To conduct a civil jury trial the parties must hire expert witnesses, perform voir dire, and spend time examining and cross-examining multiple witnesses. These activities consume an enormous amount of limited resources.
Settlement negotiations, mediation, and arbitration all provide opportunities for both parties to agree to reach a mutually agreeable resolution to the civil lawsuit. However, the clients must agree to the settlement agreement, and a client can refuse to accept a settlement offer even if their attorney advises them to accept the settlement offer.
Reach Out to the Saperstein Law Group Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
If you suffered injuries during an accident in Chicago, Illinois, then contact the Saperstein Law Group today to learn how you can seek financial compensation for your injuries. It is necessary that you gather evidence to substantiate your legal claims. Our attorneys will help you enforce your legal rights while you recover from your injuries.