Mediation in Personal Injury Cases
When you’ve been injured by someone else’s mistake, the long legal process that follows with insurance and lawyers can feel frustrating. Getting your injuries treated, dealing with medical bills and health insurance, and talking with an insurance representative about the value of your injury can add mental anguish to the physical pain you are experiencing.
One mechanism that our attorneys employ for getting the best settlement for our clients in a quicker manner is to pursue a mediation instead of going to court. This is a process where instead of going and having a trial in front of a judge or a jury, the attorneys on both sides of the case can meet with a mediator and try to resolve the case amicably.
A mediation involves hiring a third party, usually a retired judge or an attorney, to help both parties try to find a resolution they can agree on. These settlements usually involve a lot of compromise. As mediators often say, “A good settlement in a mediation is one that no one is totally happy with.” Usually, the insurance company pays a little more than it might otherwise have agreed to short of trial because they know how much a trial will cost them and that there is a risk that a jury gives a big award. The injured person may take a little less than they could have gotten at trial to avoid the additional months or years it would take to get money from the case.
Compromise might sound bad at first, but when you consider that mediations are less expensive and quicker than trials, injured clients often find that it’s best to take even a little bit less than they feel they could have gotten after a trial if they can get the money now and move on with their life. Mediations don’t always require compromise—sometimes it’s the perfect tool to help the insurance company see how serious the plaintiff’s injuries are and to get the case resolved.
Mediation is not the same as arbitration, which is a different mechanism we’ve talked about in other articles. Arbitration is less about compromise and is more like having a trial earlier in the process without a jury in the room. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident or otherwise, talk to the personal injury attorneys at Cornerstone Law Firm to discuss how we can help you to reach a settlement in your case.