To save time, money and a lot of stress, personal injury victims rely on mediation to help reach a settlement with an insurance company. Mediation is not a court proceeding and no judge is involved in the settlement negotiations. Instead, both parties choose a neutral person trained in resolving legal conflicts.
Mediation is a voluntary process when neither party has filed a lawsuit. In many cases, mediation is also a required step in the pre-litigation process, after a party has filed suit.
Entering into mediation does not prevent you from filing a lawsuit if you are unable to resolve your case.
How Mediation Works
Before you can begin the mediation process, both parties must first agree to it. Often, the parties work together to find a mutually agreeable mediator; they usually agree to split the cost, as well.
Mediation is an informal process when compared to what goes on in a courtroom, allowing for a less stressful procedure when people are still suffering from the pain of an accident. Generally, the process follows a structure something like this:
- Each party first makes an introductory statement to the mediator while the other party is present.
- The parties can then talk directly to each other while the mediator is in the room with them guiding the discussion and encouraging dialogue.
- Next, you will move to your own private rooms where you will be able to talk with the mediator alone.
- While talking with each party in private, the mediator listens to you and gains an understanding of each of your positions. Then, the mediator can evaluate both sides’ strengths and weaknesses, and without revealing to either party what the other said, uses this to help the parties come to a resolution.
Unlike in a court trial, there are few limits on the kind or format of information you give to the mediator and what exactly you can say to him or her. The goal is for you to resolve your personal injury case in a way that treats you fairly and provides you with the compensation you deserve for your injuries, pain and suffering.
Mediation Can Save Time, Money and Aggravation
When you reach an impasse with an insurance adjuster, there isn’t much you can do to force him or her to settle your claims. However, bringing in a third, neutral person can help humanize your situation and keep your claim moving along. It gives you a chance to receive compensation faster, often months or even years ahead of when a judge could have decided the case on your behalf.
We are experienced personal injury attorneys who are here to help you. Contact us to get your questions answered right away and obtain the compensation you deserve.