When Does a Personal Injury Case Go to Mediation?

Categories: Personal Injury

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Over the past few years, there has been a steady movement away from the courtroom and into mediation. That is because plaintiffs and defendants alike are realizing the benefits of mediation over traditional courtroom litigation. Insurance adjusters are even seeing the benefits and opting for mediation, instead of the court, to work out a claim. If you have reached an impasse in negotiations on your personal injury claim, your attorney may suggest entering into mediation.

Mediation and Personal Injury Claims

In mediation, the parties that are involved would sit down with a neutral third party, referred to as the mediator. This can be an off-duty judge, professional mediator, or even an attorney. This individual listens to both sides, hears their evidence and demands, and then works with each side to help them come to a solution. The mediator is impartial; therefore, he or she will not influence either side. He or she will, however, encourage negotiations and agreements.

Nothing either party says during mediation can be used in later stages of the dispute; therefore, if your case still goes to trial after mediation, nothing you say to the mediator will be used.

Mediation costs are typically split equally between both sides. The overall process is extremely informal. You do not even have to do the normal courtroom procedure or be sworn in. The evidentiary process is simple, too – and there is no burden of special proof or evidentiary requirements.

There are also no restrictions on what can be said during mediation. The mediator uses the information that he or she gathers to help coax each side into an agreement. There is no limit on opinions, either, which makes mediation better than the courtroom. In court, you have strict procedures that you must follow, and your opinion will never be voiced. In mediation, you can voice your opinion to the mediator and it will be heard.

The Benefits of Mediation for a Claim

If you do go with mediation for your personal injury claim, you will get to take advantage of a few key benefits, including:

  • Mediation can help break the stalemate in negotiations.
  • Mediation will help you save from the normal litigation costs of going to court.
  • You get a neutral third party to help ease the deadlock.
  • Mediation gets the adjuster to put more effort into your claim.
  • You have an informal procedure that allows your opinion to be heard just as much as the evidence.
  • It is less in attorney’s fees, too.

There are a few drawbacks to mediation, and not all personal injury claims can go through it. Mediation is designed to last only a few hours, while some cases can span over a few days. If an insurance claims adjuster or defense attorney refuses to negotiate in mediation, then the case will proceed to court – regardless of how willing you are to negotiate. Also, you may encounter the costs of both mediation and court fees if you do not successfully come to an agreement.

At The Law Office of B. Clarke Nash, P.C., our proven track record in court makes us that much more successful when mediating cases outside of court. Insurance companies know us well, and understand that if we don’t come to a settlement at mediation, we can make it worse for them at trial.

Will Your Case Mediate? Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured, the first step is to contact an attorney. Do not speak with the insurance claims adjusters, even if they say they are on your side. Instead, contact attorney Clarke Nash. I can help negotiate with the insurance company, file a claim if necessary, and even represent your case in court or mediation – while doing what is best for your case at all times. Schedule a consultation today by calling me directly at 912-200-5292, or ask a question online.