Mediation is a voluntary process that you and your attorney may decide to use to resolve your personal injury claim. Mediation is slightly different from negotiation, and both happen before arbitration. Negotiation and mediation are consensual processes. Here is how mediation works in personal injury cases
This means that both parties agree to use the process to try to come to an agreement. Unlike arbitration, which is an adversarial process, the two sides try to reach an agreement during negotiation and mediation.
Negotiations can take several forms but occur between two parties without a neutral third party. Mediation includes a neutral third party or mediator who provides a structure for the two parties to communicate. The objective is to create a solution to the dispute.
How Does Mediation Work?
A mediator is a trained third party, often a retired judge or lawyer. Their role is to help people come to a mutually satisfactory solution. Mediation is voluntary and only happens when both sides request it. The mediator does not give opinions or help make decisions. Mediation works if both parties want to reach an agreement and avoid trial.
Also, mediation is confidential and informal, and the cost is split between the two sides. In a personal injury case, mediation follows a basic structure. The mediator can vary the structure slightly, depending on their personal preference. However, it typically begins with each party speaking with the mediator in the other party’s presence. Each gets a turn to tell their story while the other side listens.
After this, each side can speak to the other while the mediator facilitates the exchange. In some cases, the mediator will decide to move directly to the final stage of mediation when both parties are moved to separate rooms.
The mediator then moves from one party to the next, gathering information and sharing it with the other. The mediator may speak with your attorney privately so they can be honest about the pros and cons of the case. The role of the mediator is not to make decisions but to add structure to the process.
The plaintiff’s role is often limited since, by this time, you have likely given your deposition. This means the defense attorney has had a chance to evaluate your effectiveness as a witness. The insurance adjuster may not have had the same chance, so they may want to meet with you briefly to make their own evaluation.
If you are involved in a Personal Injury claim and are considering mediation, contact us immediately to discuss the details of your case. We are committed to helping you get the compensation you deserve.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Mediation for a Personal Injury Claim?
Factors that should go into determining a settlement in a personal injury case include your out-of-pocket costs related to the injury, the permanency of your injuries, and any limitations or restrictions. Additionally, lost wages from the time you’ve been off work and lost future income should also be considered.
Mediation is an effective way of getting your voice heard in the negotiation process. You can tell your story and how the injury has affected your life. Many insurance companies look only at verifiable financial losses as they consider a settlement offer.
Another benefit is that mediation is often cost-effective. Trials can cost thousands of dollars, which does not include the cost of expert witnesses and depositions. Sitting in the same room with the insurance adjuster puts a human face and story on a claim that may have just been a file and a voice on the phone.
Mediation is also private. Information is only shared between the relevant parties and their attorneys. Most court cases are a matter of public record, which means your information can be shared publicly. The privacy of mediation is a benefit when your claim involves sensitive information.
You can expect mediation to be lengthy, sometimes taking up to a full day. Mediators will not pick sides; they are advocates for both sides. You can also expect to hear information and statements from the opposite party that you completely disagree with. Finally, you can expect to compromise. Mediation does not work unless both parties compromise to reach a settlement. The concessions you and the other side make should be reasonable and fair.
Call Hach & Rose, LLP Today for a Free Consultation
If you were injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to recover damages that help pay for your medical expenses and lost wages and compensate you for pain and suffering. The New York City personal injury attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP understand that no money can compensate for your injuries and loss of personal property.
However, compensation can ease the path to recovery by reducing your financial burden. Our attorneys are committed to fighting for your rights and fair compensation after your accident. Call our office at (212) 779-0057 or contact us online today for a free, confidential case review. You are not charged any fees unless we recover damages for you.