Lawsuits can often be complicated and may take years to reach completion. Class-action lawsuits are notoriously time consuming, partly due to their complexity. Other cases that are generally lengthy include those that involve the testimony of subpoenaed or expert witnesses, and other time-consuming procedures. In many states, the high number of lawsuits places some strain on the court system causing significant delays before a case is brought to court. For these reasons, many cases are resolved through an out-of-court settlement. If the outcome is likely to favor the plaintiff, the insurance company may prefer to negotiate a settlement rather than incur the additional expense of a full-length court hearing. In many states, the parties involved in litigation are encouraged to resolve their cases through arbitration or mediation. While these alternatives to a court hearing are not mandatory, they can offer litigants an opportunity to reach an acceptable settlement much quicker than if they had to go through a court trial. An attorney can assist you in your negotiations during arbitration or mediation and advise you of the options that are most advantageous to you.