Mediation is a voluntary and non-trial -based process for settling disputes between two parties. A Nashville personal injury lawyer will often resort to mediation if initial negotiations between themselves and an insurer cannot produce a satisfactory settlement agreement.
Since the process does not use court resources like a judge or formal paperwork processes, mediation usually costs far less than trial litigation. The results are also non-binding, meaning a personal injury victim can pursue mediation as an option but still move onto trial litigation without consequence if mediation does not work out.
In this way, a personal injury attorney can help their client pursue their preferred outcome without having to commit to a binding process. Learn more about how mediation works and how it can potentially benefit your personal injury claim by reading on.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation refers to a process where two parties attempt to settle a dispute with the aid of a neutral third party, known as the mediator. In legal disputes, the mediator is most often someone with legal training and a professional law background, such as a retired judge. Many mediation firms are staffed with former trial lawyers and others who have earned their JDs, and some mediators still practice law.
When two parties sit down to a mediator, they explain the background of their case and the history of actions taken from the very beginning. This conversation often takes place with the other party present. Since this may be the first time both parties meet face-to-face, this initial conversation can help explain both sides of the story.
For instance, in a personal injury claim, the victim’s representative may not have been aware of a fact that an insurer had a discrepancy with part of the claim’s available medical documentation. Other times, a party will realize the core logic to the other party’s actions, helping smooth over negotiations since it is more clear what the person needs to hear to proceed further.
In addition to speaking to the mediator with the other party present, the two parties may converse with one another while the mediator facilitates conversation and keeps it productive. Both sides may also wish to converse with the mediator in private, preventing the other party from hearing what they are saying.
Since the mediator hears all of these proceedings, they are in a unique position to offer advice and suggestions to each side while preserving their neutral stance.
When Is Mediation the Right Step to Take for a Nashville Personal Injury Lawyer?
Mediation services do cost money, so unfacilitated back-and-forth discussions between both parties is, usually, the most efficient and cost-effective approach to take at first. If there exists a gap larger than a few thousand dollars between what the other party is offering and what would be fair for your case, mediation can help close the gap without time-consuming and costly trial litigation. Since no discussions from mediation can be presented as evidence during trial, it represents little to no risk as a preliminary step.
If the insurer refuses to settle and does not seem anywhere close to approaching your fair target compensation amount, skipping straight to a trial may be prudent in certain instances. The choice between these options must be made based on the circumstances of the case and the nature of initial discussions between you and the party defending against your claim.
You can contact a Nashville personal injury attorney today to discuss your options and begin filing your claim in the most beneficial way possible. Use the number listed above or our convenient online contact form for a free consultation and case review.