As I have stated before on this blog, Massachusetts personal injury claims usually settle outside of court with the relevant insurance company. However, there are times when claims do not settle. The claimant (or the claimant’s attorney) has three alternatives in that situation:
Mediation does not have much risk as the parties can simply walk out if they do not feel the mediation is working. The mediator does not have "binding" authority. Arbitration on the other hand, is a little riskier than arbitration. First, it is binding and the arbitrator acts as a judge. At the end, the arbitrator may issue an "award" of some kind to one of the parties. Arbitration is attractive because it has the aspect of finality (unlike mediation) and the outcome of an arbitration is more predictable than a jury verdict.
Your third and final alternative, litigation, is extremely risky. You essentially allow a judge (bench trial) or a jury (jury trial) to decide whether or not you will be compensated for your injuries. There is a big "upside" to litigation in that your case may "hit" for a nice verdict in your favor. Or, you may lose entirely, and not receive a penny.
When considering these three alternatives, I suggest you heavily consider mediation and arbitration because they are more predictable than a bench or jury trial. Good luck with your Massachusetts personal injury case!