If negotiations have stalled and there seem to be limited options remaining for your personal injury claim, it’s possible that your attorney will recommend mediation. Mediation, frequently used in family law cases and business law, is also a useful tool for some personal injury cases.
Find out how mediation may be used in your personal injury claim. For more personalized assistance with your claim, call The Stein Firm at 770-824-3107 and set up a consultation.
Neutral Setting and Moderator
One of the main benefits of using mediation in a personal injury claim is the presence of a neutral third party. Mediation generally happens in a place not associated with either side’s legal team, so no one goes in having the upper hand. The mediator is not biased toward either party and is simply there to provide information, guide the process, and try to limit unproductive fighting.
This is often enough to hit the reset button on previously stalled negotiations. When both parties are negotiating and there’s no one there to moderate, things can run off-course quickly. Just having someone to smooth out misunderstandings can get both parties to a place where they cooperate.
Preserving a Relationship and Limiting Animosity
There are some personal injury cases where you have no personal relationship with the other party—you are hit by a random driver, are bitten by a stranger’s dog, or fall on a business’s property, for example. However, there are also cases that involve people you know. In these situations, you may want or need to preserve that relationship.
Consider, for example, a situation where you slip and fall on a friend’s walkway that should have been cleared after a snowstorm. Another example: you are the passenger in the at-fault driver’s car in an accident, and you need compensation for your injuries. Mediation may make it easier to preserve that relationship, as it is far less adversarial than going to court. For most people, going to court essentially burns that bridge.
Avoiding Further Delays and Expenses
As the victim of a personal injury, you know that you don’t have forever to figure out your claim and how you’re going to cover your expenses. Medical care providers will often hold off on billing while you sort out your claim, but they won’t wait indefinitely. On top of that, what about your lost wages? Your creditors and service providers won’t just let you rack up bills while you wait for a settlement.
Going to court can be time-consuming and expensive, as it may involve hiring expert witnesses and using other resources. Mediation can give both parties one final chance at sorting things out on their own without getting the court involved. Both sides benefit when they don’t have to go to court, so mediation may be the final push needed to secure an agreement.
Mediation Isn’t Always the Answer
While mediation certainly has its benefits, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. In many situations, one or both parties may refuse to engage in mediation. Remember, during mediation, either side can walk away at any time. Unless both sides are invested in reaching an agreement, mediation could end prematurely, wasting both parties’ time and money.
Mediation may not be the best option if liability is in question. When both sides can’t agree on even the most basic facts of a case, negotiations are unlikely to be successful. There needs to be some preexisting cooperation and agreed-upon facts for mediation to even have a shot.
When one side firmly denies liability despite the presence of evidence proving their role in an incident, it may just be easier for the wronged party to go to court. Mediation will likely just delay the inevitable.
Get Help With Your Personal Injury Claim—Call The Stein Firm
When you have the right legal team by your side, you can rest easy throughout your personal injury claim. You can concentrate on your recovery while we fight for the compensation you deserve. Let’s talk about your options during a free consultation. Call us at 770-824-3107 and schedule a time to meet with our team.