Mediation is a way to negotiate a settlement of your injury claim. Both parties agree on a mediator (usually a retired judge or lawyer). The mediator receives all the pertinent case information from each side’s attorney. The mediator then meets with all the people involved at one office location. The parties then exchange settlement amounts and terms. If the settlement amount is acceptable to the negotiating parties, then the case may settle. It is all voluntary, and no one is required to accept any amount.
Arbitration works more like an informal trial. The parties agree on an arbitrator who will decide the case. Most arbitrations are binding and may only be appealed under certain circumstances. The parties present their case to the arbitrator who then awards the injured person a sum of money or decides that the injured person receives no money based upon the facts and laws of the case. Arbitration is usually less costly than trial and resolved more quickly than going to trial.