Mediation can provide a relatively low-cost alternative to trial litigation in personal injury cases that cannot reach an initial settlement. Through this process, both sides and their attorneys can have non-binding discussions in order to come to further understanding.
The low-stakes environment of mediation allows both parties in a dispute to meet face-to-face and lay as many of their cards on the table as they so choose. Participation is completely voluntary, and neither side can admit statements made during mediation into evidence if the case proceeds to trial. A mediator’s presence can also help defuse tensions felt during initial claims actions taken through paperwork and over the phone.
Through this process, a personal injury lawyer can often help their client reach closer to their preferred settlement amount than what would be offered during the initial back-and-forth claims process. Read on to learn more about how your attorney can use mediation to effectively advance your claim and obtain the compensation you deserve.
How Mediation Works
Mediation services are offered through legal institutions and dedicated mediation service providers. Most professional mediators have a background in law, typically as a former trial lawyer or a retired judge. Some who provide mediation services also continue to practice law simultaneously.
No matter where a mediation is held, both sides will be able to talk to one another with their mediator acting as a moderator, neutral observer and bargaining facilitator. Each party can also consult privately with the mediator or speak directly to the mediator with the other party present. Through all three discussion types, the two parties and their mediator will try to reach common ground.
The mediator is in an advantageous position to hear what both sides are saying in both public and private, and they can come up with unique settlement ideas in light of what they hear.
If both sides can reach an agreement, the claim and dispute are settled, but if they cannot, the case must advance to a lawsuit.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Facilitates Fair Mediation
Without a representative personal injury attorney, the injured individual will likely face an insurance claims adjuster and the insurer’s representing attorneys. This situation puts them at a disadvantage since the other side will have more familiarity with the law as well as with their own policy restrictions. They may make misleading statements like “this policy does not cover negligence,” when in many instances it actually could.
The insurer may also attempt to debate the extent of the injury, the actual medical costs involved and the liability of their policyholder. These questions are quite complex and require legal expertise to suss through.
Finally, a personal injury attorney will recognize recurring settlement tactics that attempt to get you to settle for less than you deserve. Through all of these services, you and your representing counsel can increase your chances of reaching a fair settlement through a less hostile and decidedly less expensive environment than trial litigation.
If you have been injured and are seeking compensation, do not hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer to counsel you on your case during initial claims filing, mediation and trial litigation — if need be. You can contact us through the number at the top of the page or using the convenient form to the right in order to receive a free case evaluation and potentially start your case today.