How Does the Mediation Process Work?
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Feb 16, 2021 in Personal Injury
There are several ways two sides can attempt to resolve a civil matter, such as a personal injury dispute. The most common approach is agreeing to a settlement. However, there are a few other methods to achieve an agreement, such as mediation.
Below, Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak discusses mediation and what injury victims need to know. If you have questions, give us a call to schedule a free legal consultation.
What Happens Before Mediation?
Before mediation occurs, the two parties decide they want to use this form of dispute resolution. Although, there are some instances when a judge may order a case to go through mediation before he or she will allow it to proceed to trial.
Generally, once both parties agree, a mediator is chosen, and the process goes through several steps before negotiating an agreement that may benefit both sides. The meeting between the opposing sides and the mediator is typically done in a private, controlled environment.
One of the first steps in mediation is allowing both parties to say what the problem is. Each party is awarded the opportunity to present their argument.
Unlike a civil trial, though, this part of the mediation process is intended to present the reasons for the disagreement between both parties that is not allowing the dispute to be resolved with a settlement.
After each party presents their reasons for why the case has not been settled, the mediator may gather more information by asking open-ended questions to each party, as necessary. This allows for the establishment of rapport between the mediator and the disputing parties so their needs are understood. This will hopefully allow for a conclusion that will benefit both sides.
Bargaining to Reach a Deal
After getting a better understanding of the dispute, the mediator attempts to negotiate to reach a settlement. For example, the mediator often presents an offer from one side to another and goes back and forth between both sides. The mediator is trying to come up with a settlement that works for both sides.
When bargaining through mediation fails to produce a deal, one party may file a lawsuit against the other to try to achieve an outcome they believe may be more favorable.
Why Choose Mediation?
Mediation is often less expensive than filing a lawsuit due to the court fees associated with taking a case to trial.
There is also the risk that a jury may not reach a verdict that is favorable to the party filing the lawsuit. For example, a jury may award less compensation than the victim wanted. However, in mediation, there may be a better chance of reaching a settlement that provides fair compensation for the injured party.
Mediation is also confidential, so the results will not be part of the public record, unlike a civil trial.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
Your attorney can work with the other side to choose a mediator who is less likely to be biased in favor of the insurance company. Without an attorney representing you, you can be sure the insurance company will try to take advantage of you. They are probably going to try to find a mediator who is more likely to favor their interests over yours. Insurance companies are only concerned about their bottom line.
Aside from helping you choose a mediator; a good attorney can be there to help you develop your arguments and layout your demands for a settlement.
We Are Prepared to Help. Give Us a Call
The car accident lawyers in South Bend at our firm are prepared to help you resolve your claim, whether that involves negotiating a settlement, going through mediation or even filing a lawsuit. Our attorneys negotiate with insurance companies on a regular basis and are ready to pursue the compensation you need.
We can review your claim during your free consultation and do not charge you anything up front.
Call us today at (844) 678-1800