Will My Mississippi Personal Injury Lawsuit Go To Trial? Alternative Dispute Resolution And Trial In Mississippi Personal Injury Cases
The word “trial” when it comes to the legal context is often a word met with both a little bit of fear and a lot of mystery. Most people’s experience when it comes to a legal trial is limited to television shows or movies that show the glories and the pitfalls of lawyers battling it out in the courtroom with grumpy judges and not-guilty clients. However, it is perhaps a common misconception that most cases that are filed ultimately go to trial in Mississippi and throughout the United States. The truth is, in fact, that most cases in Mississippi and in the American legal system generally are resolved out of court through other processes. Statistically speaking, the numbers are pretty glaring: 94% of criminal cases are concluded through a plea deal, not through trial, and 95% of civil cases resolve through out of court settlement. In personal injury cases, which are resolved under civil law in the civil court system, there are three main processes for resolving a case out of court. These processes are face-to-face negotiations, mediation, and arbitration.
Mississippi Personal Injury Cases and Face-to-Face Negotiation
“Face-to-face negotiations” refers to negotiations made without an intermediary party, such as a mediator or arbitrator. Face-to-face negotiations typically occur when there are not many unique and novel issues to hammer out and both parties indicate a willingness to resolve the case. Face-to-face negotiations usually go through the parties’ lawyers directly, meaning the plaintiff and defense lawyers typically engage in a series of emails and phone calls, or perhaps meetings in person or over Zoom to resolve the case. Face-to-face negotiations can be a good way to save time and the cost of the formal mediation process. However, face-to-face negotiations only work when both parties are realistic about what they want out of the process and case, and want to resolve it without protracted litigation or formal mediation.
Mississippi Personal Injury Cases and Mediation
Mediation is a more formal process for resolving Mississippi personal injury cases. In mediation, the parties typically split the cost of a third-party, called a mediator, to oversee the negotiation of the case. The parties typically come together, by Zoom or in person, for an all-day meeting, during which the parties and their lawyers are typically separated in different rooms (or Zoom rooms). The mediator (usually a retired judge or experienced lawyer who has undergone mediation training) goes between the rooms, back-and-forth, in an effort to resolve the case. At the end of a mediation, if both parties agree to a settlement, the settlement is formally memorialized in a settlement agreement or a memorandum of understanding.
Mississippi Personal Injury Cases and Arbitration
Arbitration is a formal alternative dispute resolution process and it is binding on the parties. In arbitration, a decision-maker, called an “arbitrator”, hears the parties’ sides, like a judge does, and then makes a decision that is binding on the parties. The major difference between mediation and arbitration is that mediation is non-binding, meaning no decision is made by the mediator and the result is only binding if the parties enter into a settlement agreement. An arbitration decision, however, is essentially as effective as a court order.
Help Resolving Your Mississippi Personal Injury Case
If you are seeking help with your Mississippi personal injury case, contact the experienced Batesville personal injury lawyers at Lunsford Baskin & Priebe. Contact Lunsford Baskin & Priebe today for a free and confidential consultation and to see if they can help.