What is Mediation in Personal Injury Lawsuits?
Are you involved in a personal injury case after a car accident or work related injury? When you are the victim of negligence or a car wreck that is not your fault, you’ll have to negotiate and make claims with insurance companies who are looking to minimize their liability and amount of money they have to pay out in a case. You’ll need a personal injury lawyer on your side most time to negotiate and work through the tactics adjusters use to minimize their liability. However, just because you hire a personal injury lawyer does not mean that your personal injury case has to go to a trial. In fact, only 4%-5% of cases go to trial and the rest are settled pre-trial in settlements.
The methods to finding a settlement can range from casual negotiation involving just some simple paperwork to more formal negotiation including mediation. If you are struggling to reach an agreement with the insurance company after your case then mediation might be what your lawyer and the third party chooses to do for your case.
So, What is Mediation?
Mediation is a technique of negotiation that limits the amount of pressure between the plaintiff and the defendant parties. This is because mediation uses a third party representative (a mediator) to act as a bridge between the two parties to help them meet in agreement.
How It Works
Usually the parties will meet at the mediator’s office or a neutral location (but not always) and the mediator will listen to each party’s side of the story and their interests. After the mediator has time to identify the differences between each party’s interests, the plaintiff and defendants will usually go into separate rooms so they can each discuss the negotiation privately amongst themselves. The mediator will draw up various agreements and propose them to the parties who will then ask for changes to be made and the mediator continues to propose the changes to each party until the come to an agreement.
A good mediator will have a strong knowledge of the type of case and can therefore offer perspective on what is a reasonable compromise to help lead each party into an agreement they know is realistic and the best option they have.
The Benefits of Mediation
Mediation is similar to a trial. You’ve got two parties who are each presenting their case and an authority (the mediator) helps to make judgments about what the “verdict” should be. However, instead of having an either-or conclusion, mediation can lead to a compromise that normally leads to a better future relationship between the two parties. They each get to be heard instead of arguing in a court to be completely right.
Another benefit is the cost-effectiveness of mediation. There is a reason that so only 5% of cases go to trial: it’s expensive. Mediation is a cheaper option for parties in a personal injury lawsuit.
Talk To Your Lawyer
When you are in an accident and have suffered injury, you need to talk to your attorney and make sure you know every option you have available so you can feel confident about your case and getting life back to normal. If you are a victim of a negligence, call us for a free consultation and make sure you are getting fair treatment from insurance adjusters and the negligent party.