Ask Your Personal Injury Attorney About Mediation
In recent years, there has been a slow yet steady movement away from the costly, time-consuming, and stressful system of litigation as a means of settling personal injury claims. People have instead been taking advantage of the other alternative ways of dispute resolution, especially mediation. Even many insurance adjusters and legal professionals now appreciate mediation’s value and often use it.
If you have gotten to an impasse in your negotiations with an insurance company regarding the settlement of your personal injury lawsuit, then mediation might actually provide a sensible solution to your problem. It is highly advised that you consult an experienced personal injury attorney for more information.
Basics of personal injury mediation
In the mediation process, the two parties involved in the dispute introduce a third party (the mediator) who is actually trained to assist conflicting individuals in reaching a solution to their dispute. Mediation only happens if both parties ask for it, and a settlement is reached only if both parties agree to it as well. No opinions or decisions are given or made by the mediator; if the disputing parties don’t agree to a solution, they can take a step back to where they left off prior to the mediation. The mediation cost is then equally divided between both parties.
This process is informal; the aim of mediation is to permit both sides to have their own say without the stress involved in legal procedures, and without the fear that if they say something wrong, they could actually lose the dispute. Personal injury mediations follow a simple, straight-forward structure, although they slightly differ among different mediators.
Each side addresses the mediator in the presence of the opposing side; each side gets to directly address the opposing side with the chosen mediator assisting the exchange process. Additionally, every party gets to address the mediator alone. The mediator then utilizes the information he/she has gathered from both sides to persuade each party to compromise and reach an agreement that satisfies everyone.
The pros of mediation
Mediation is one of the best ways of breaking the stalemate after you have gotten to an impasse with an adjuster. Mediation has several advantages:
- It gives you a chance to sit with the insurance claim adjuster in one room, and this puts a human face on the claim which is otherwise just another work file to the adjuster. You might therefore get a sensible settlement offer from the insurance adjuster when in the same room than over the phone.
- No further arguments or documents are needed in mediation that you don’t already have from the lawsuit process.
- Mediation is simpler, quicker, and less costly than hiring personal injury attorneys.
And the cons
There are some downsides to mediation:
- Mediation can turn out to be quite costly if a professional mediator is used, and the choice of a less costly, experienced community mediation service might be impossible to get near you.
- It is at times difficult to get the insurance claim adjuster to agree to this process because of the additional time and work involved. The insurance claim adjuster has to make personal appearances at the mediation sessions, which might be difficult for him/her to make.
In case you or someone you love has suffered any personal injuries as a result of the negligence of another individual, it is important for you to hire a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney to make sure that your rights are protected. A lot of personal injury claims are usually settled through mediation. As seen above, mediation is a more stress-free and relatively simpler way of settling personal injury claims.
Last Updated: 03-24-2017