Mediation is an effective way to negotiate the terms of a personal injury settlement. If negotiations have stalled and there seems to be no way to bridge the gap, mediation could be the solution. Through mediation, a neutral third party known as a mediator helps both sides discuss their options and find mutually beneficial solutions.
If you’ve been injured through someone else’s negligence, a personal injury claim is the next step in seeking the compensation you deserve. Our team can help. Schedule a consultation with Burns, Cunningham & Mackey now by calling us at 251-432-0612.
Benefits of Mediation in a Personal Injury Claim
Mediation is a tool used in several different areas of law, and it offers a number of benefits to those seeking compensation through a personal injury claim. To start, it allows you to talk directly with the adjuster and their legal team.
If you’ve suffered a lot from your injuries, it might help for the adjuster to see your injuries and see who their choices truly affect. Additionally, mediation doesn’t require a substantial amount of preparation beyond what your attorney has already done. They’ve already prepared all the paperwork, documentation, and evidence for negotiations—this is what will also be used during mediation.
Another huge benefit of mediation is being able to avoid court. If negotiations have been unfruitful and it doesn’t seem like either side is willing to give in, the next step is court. That can add a significant amount of time and expense to your case, and it’s also far riskier than coming to a settlement agreement. When successful, mediation is faster and less expensive than going through court.
When Mediation is Not the Best Option
Mediation is not always an option in personal injury claims. First, the insurance adjuster may not be willing to consider this option. Much of an adjuster’s work is done over the phone and attending an in-person mediation session that may or may not be successful might not be a top priority for them. Additionally, there is no guarantee that mediation will be successful in your case. It’s possible that you’ll spend the money, attend the session, and the other party will still be unwilling to compromise at all. If this happens, you will still need to go through court.
The process starts when both sides agree to try mediation. From there, the attorneys find a mediator. It’s important to choose a mediator that is respected and trusted by both sides, otherwise progress is unlikely. During the mediation session, the mediator will introduce themselves and sign confidentiality agreements.
The plaintiff gets a chance to tell their side of the story and make an opening statement. This will typically be given by your attorney, not you. This is your attorney’s chance to highlight some important pieces of evidence and hint at what a jury might see if a case goes to trial.
From there, the defense gets the same opportunity. They make their opening statement to tell why they offered lower settlement amounts or why they don’t think they need to pay more than they have already offered. After that, the parties generally separate and the mediator will go back and forth to communicate between the parties.
By asking questions, highlighting strong points on both parties’ sides, and staying neutral, the mediator hopes to move both sides closer to a resolution. At the end of mediation, the parties will either agree on a settlement and sign an agreement or decide to move on to a court case.
Exploring Your Options with an Attorney
Whether or not mediation is a good option for you depends largely on the details of your case, the flexibility of the other party’s insurance company, and how far apart you are when it comes to making an agreement. That’s why it’s important to work with an attorney you trust and who has in-depth experience in your type of personal injury claim. They can help you explore the potential outcomes of mediation and determine whether or not it’s a good use of your time.
Take the Next Step in Your Claim with Burns, Cunningham & Mackey
The team at Burns, Cunningham & Mackey knows that every personal injury case is different. We look at the specific details of your accident and use our experience to help you fight for the best possible outcome. Schedule a consultation now by calling us at 251-432-0612 or contacting us online.