Using Mediation To Settle Personal Injury Cases

Posted on: 26 January 2018

If you've been injured by a careless driver, you cannot depend on the insurance company to award you with the money damages that you deserve. Only by filing a personal injury case can you get paid for the full amount of any medical bills, past and future, as well as things like pain and suffering and lost wages. Often, you may find your negotiations with the other side stalled. When this happens, more and more potential litigants are turning to a new way of negotiating settlements. Read on to learn more about personal injury mediation.

Why is mediation a good idea?

If you cannot agree with the insurance adjuster for the other side on a proper and adequate settlement amount, mediation is a useful tool to try to break the stalemate. Since the only alternative at this stage of the game is to have your case heard in court, both sides should be motivated to come to an agreement. Here are a few common benefits to mediation that negotiating over the phone lacks.

1. You and the other involved parties are put in a unique situation: face to face. Meeting with a neutral third-party mediator and the insurance adjuster in person puts a very personal spin on things, and it could be just the nudge the adjuster needs to form an agreement. You are no longer just a claims document; you are an accident victim.

2. Anything you say during the mediation cannot be used later on in court. That means that both sides can speak freely without fear of saying something that could jeopardize the claim.

3. Since both sides usually share the cost of the mediation, both sides have a stake in making it work. That being said, hiring a mediator is far less expensive than going to court.

4. The process is relaxed and informal. Every meeting and mediation can be unique, with no real rules about who is included and how decisions are arrived at. This relaxed atmosphere seems to boost morale after months of negotiations, leading to a more positive outcome.

How does mediation work?

A mediator is a specially trained professional who works to get parties to compromise and to see the benefits of a potential settlement. Some mediators are legal professionals, and you can often find retired judges and attorneys mediating cases. In most cases, the mediator will speak alone with each party, but will never reveal to the other side what they learned. The mediator is then armed with information that could help bring the parties closer to a resolution when they all meet together. This process continues until either a settlement agreement is worked out, or they all agree to let a judge settle it.

Insurance companies, attorneys, and victims often find that mediation works when nothing else will. Contact a law firm like Kilgore Smith LLC for more information.