When you or a loved one has been seriously injured by someone else's negligence or deliberate act, understand that you may have a long and frustrating legal battle ahead of you. While there's no such thing as a typical personal injury case, you may be looking at a years-long process, depending upon the unique complexities of your situation, say personal injury attorneys.
That said, most Texas personal injury cases that go to trial take an average of one to two years to be settled, with the longer estimate allowing for an appeal by the defending party. Certain types of personal injury cases, including those resulting from medical malpractice, can take even longer. This is a top reason that many plaintiffs choose mediation over litigation.
Mediation affords an opportunity to for both parties to discuss all the facets of the case with a neutral third party, who can help bring them to a fair and reasonable settlement. The environment allows for far more detailed discussion and flexible negotiation than does a court setting, where both parties are subject to legal protocol. Among the benefits of mediation over litigation are:
- Speed: Mediation typically is a far faster process than is a court trial;
- Budget: Depending upon the case, legal costs associated with court proceedings may exceed the potential financial benefits you'd receive even if you win in court, making mediation a more affordable and beneficial choice;
- Thoroughness: The mediation format allows both parties to more thoroughly discuss all issues of the situation and to express emotions in a far more open way than would be allowed in a court setting;
- Options: In a court trial, attorneys for each side present their arguments and a single judge decides the outcome. Mediation, on the other hand, allows for a higher level of negotiation with input from both the complainant and defendant.
While you'll have more personal involvement in the outcome of your case, your personal injury attorney will be there to provide direction and advice throughout the settlement negotiation. And, if negotiations fail, you can always continue on to a court case.