Settling Personal Injury Cases Through Mediation
Mediation is absolutely an effective tool for settling personal injury cases. Although mediation may not always resolve a claim, it can certainly bring about progress.
Mediation can be quite beneficial when it comes to personal injury cases, and works to resolve disputes prior to trial. In fact, it is one of the most popular methods for resolving personal injury cases.
Unlike a trial, mediation is an informal process that allows a neutral third party—the mediator—to work with the parties in an effort to reach a mutual agreement. In this way, the mediator is both an evaluator and a facilitator.
The mediator works with the parties and has the following responsibilities:
- Identification of the most important issues
- Work with the parties to clarify any misunderstanding
- Exploration of possible solutions
- Negotiation of a mutual settlement
Advantages of Choosing Mediation
The concept behind mediation is to allow the parties with the dispute to resolve their issues without taking it to trial and leaving the jury to make the decision. The primary reasons parties in a personal injury case choose mediation include the following:
- Mediation is less time-consuming because it can take place at any time during the course of the lawsuit, from just prior to filing to immediately before the trial. There is no need to wait for a decision from a judge or jury.
- Mediation is more cost-effective than a trial.
- The parties to the lawsuit have total control over the outcome of the lawsuit rather than a judge or jury.
- The parties in the lawsuit can be certain of the outcome since it is totally within their control. They avoid leaving the final decision in the hands of someone else.
- Mediation is less stressful than a trial for resolving a personal injury lawsuit.
Another advantage of mediation is it allows the parties to be creative with the terms of the settlement. This means they could possibly include compensation or conditions that are not ordinarily available when you go to trial.
The Basics of Mediation in a Personal Injury Claim
During mediation, the parties involved in a dispute get together with the mediator (who has the training required to help parties reach a mutually agreeable solution) in order to resolve their conflict. Mediation is a voluntary process, and only occurs at the request of both parties. Disputes are only settled if both parties reach an agreement.
There is a basic structure to personal injury mediation, although it may vary somewhat among individual mediators. The basic structure is as follows:
- Each party speaks with the mediator as a group
- Each party to the conflict is able to speak directly to one another while the mediator facilitates the exchange
- Each party has an opportunity to speak with the mediator alone
The mediator uses the information the parties provided in order to come up with solutions or concessions, and will try to facilitate an agreement (the mediator does this without revealing anything either party said privately and confidentially). There are no restrictions on what they can say or how they present facts and opinions.
If you have any questions, please contact us today via email or call our office at (214) 275-5333.