Mediation vs. Arbitration in Medical Malpractice

What are the differences between mediation and arbitration when it involves medical malpractice? Here is some general information.

Med Mal Case – Mediation or ArbitrationIf you find yourself in the middle of a medical malpractice lawsuit, then you may be happy to know that there are alternatives to taking the case to court.

In fact, most med mal cases never go to court.

Instead, many people choose to go through mediation or arbitration in order to settle the lawsuit. Some even require it, such as Kaiser Permanente, which requires patients who carry Kaiser insurance to submit to arbitration.

But what are the key differences between mediation and arbitration?

Mediation means that an impartial third-party conducts a voluntary, negotiated settlement between the disputants. It is more informal than arbitration, and does not close the door to taking the case to court should mediation fail.

Arbitration means that disputants will go before an impartial person or group, and will abide by the arbitrator’s decision. There is no option to take the case to court once the parties decide to settle through arbitration.

While each approach has its own set of guidelines, expectations and outcomes, the benefits to using these alternatives is less time and money spent on taking the medical malpractice case to court.

How do I find out more about mediation and arbitration?

The Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) of San Diego County can connect you with a number of community resources that offer mediation, or refer you to an attorney who can assist you with arbitration. Please contact the LRIS at (619) 231-8585, via online chat, or by submitting an online request form.

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