You’ve initiated a personal injury claim, but perhaps the process is taking longer than you expected. Maybe the other party is unwilling to budge when it comes to offering a fair settlement, or perhaps both sides can’t even agree on what exactly happened. When it appears that negotiations alone aren’t going to yield a beneficial outcome, it might be time to consider mediation.
Having the right legal team on your side can make this stressful time much easier for you and your family. Find out how by calling Reeves & Mestayer at 228-374-5151.
How Mediation Works in Personal Injury Cases
Mediation can take some of the heat off when negotiations have gone south or reached a stalemate. It introduces a neutral third party who can help the parties work together to find an outcome that suits both sides. The mediator does not choose a “winning” side or force either party to compromise. Instead, they help both parties discuss the facts of the case, compromise where necessary, and reach an acceptable outcome.
If you choose mediation for your personal injury claim, it will take place at a legal office, courthouse, or other private space. The mediator will lay out the ground rules, allow the plaintiff to make an opening statement, and let the other party respond.
From there, much depends on the individual mediator and the nature of your claim. If tensions are high and one party does not feel comfortable negotiating in the same room, the parties may be kept in separate rooms. The mediator will try to figure out what each side wants to get from the process, present each side’s point of view, and try to get each side to come closer to a compromise.
If mediation is successful, a settlement is created and signed that day. It is then filed with the court. If an agreement still cannot be reached, the plaintiff’s attorney will take the case to court.
Why You Should Consider Mediation
There are several benefits that come with mediation. If you and the other side are willing to compromise to wrap up the claim, mediation could be the final step to reaching an agreement. Mediation is often less expensive than going through a court case and may result in a full and fair settlement for the victim.
Mediation is generally much less stressful for the victim, who may not have the mental or physical strength to go through a court battle for compensation. Remember, if mediation is successful, you can sign an agreement that day and be done with the back-and-forth of your claim. That’s often much more appealing than waiting weeks or months for a court date.
When Mediation May Not Be the Right Choice
Unfortunately, mediation is not always an option in personal injury claims. If the defense vehemently denies their role in the accident or injury, won’t agree to pay any type of settlement, or is only willing to offer an incredibly low settlement, mediation could be a waste of your time.
You may even find that the other party’s insurance company is not willing to try mediation. The cost, risk of failure, and extra time are often enough to dissuade insurance adjusters from considering mediation. Furthermore, if mediation fails, you may have to bear the cost of mediation and a court case.
What Happens if Mediation Fails?
If mediation fails, your attorney will likely move forward with a court case. Mediation is often the last stop before the courtroom. You can discuss this with your attorney and determine whether or not mediation is a good option for you.
Reeves & Mestayer—Here to Help with Your Personal Injury Claim
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, fall, or another type of accident, it’s time to talk to an attorney and find out if you are entitled to any compensation. The team at Reeves & Mestayer is here to listen to the details of your accident, find out how it’s impacted your life, and make a plan to get the compensation you’re owed. If you’re ready to get started, so are we. Let’s set up a consultation and talk. Just call us at 228-374-5151 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a meeting.