How Car Accident Mediation Works
Mediation is a day-long event wherein both parties to a lawsuit present to a "mediator" a summary of the evidence they intend to use in a trial. A mediator is an unbiased third party whose job it is to review all the evidence presented and hear all the arguments made and try to broker a settlement. A mediator does not work for the court, however, most judges require all cases to be mediated before they'll allow a trial to take place. So, you can think of mediation as the last stop before trial. If a settlement can't be brokered, then the case will likely be tried.
In this step, you've got to be prepared for the defense's counters to your settlement requests because your mediation purely exists because settlement talks prior did not yield any results (at least results you could fairly accept). You've got to be ready for a possibly all-day ordeal in which you fight for the right compensation. And essentially, you've got to be on your toes for what the defense will throw at you.
Your attorneys will be with you every step of the way, making sure you get what you rightfully deserve for your injuries or the loss of your loved one in the accident. We won't back down until we need to. As such, in this article, we'll talk about what the steps of mediation are and how our team of experienced attorneys can help.
The When of Mediation
As we mentioned above, mediation happens pre-trial but after the initial settlement talks. That is because the settlement suggestions made by the defendants and their lawyers are usually insufficent. They may offer an amount that is way too low and will barely cover your medical bills, much less your future loss wages because you've suffered a life-altering injury. They may offer an amount that seems to cover some of the important losses, but your lawyer reminds you of future costs you'll have to endure (like repairs to your vehicle or a new car altogether).
The fact of the matter is, mediation happens when the defense team is putting a foot down and not offering a fair settlement.
The What of Mediation
The question you now have may be, "so what happens in mediation?" Well, the process is as follows.
- The plaintiff gets to open the mediation. This involves our lawyers proposing all of the issues that deserve compensation, i.e. all the damages incurred. We will mention your physical well-being, your medical costs, what it will cost to maintain a healthy lifestyle like you had before, any lost wages now or in the future, and any pain and suffering you may have endured. This discussion only happens with
- The defense attempts to decrease your settlement request. They'll make excuses, attempt to state that it was not entirely the defendant's fault, and as such, the plaintiff should be awarded less. This is when the defense essentially puts on its boxing gloves for the first time. They will insist on paying less than you deserve.
- The mediator then talks privately with both parties. The mediator, usually a completely unbiased party - often a retired judge, goes from room to room. He or she gently discusses with either party what the other party has offered or suggested. He serves as a go-between, that's why he's a "mediator."
- A compromise is come to. This is the point where, hopefully, your lawyers have fought for you to receive a fair settlement. You've agreed to take a little less than what you deserve, but the defendant has probably gone up in their offer. Mediation truly is a crucial step for coming to a decision among the two parties, and our lawyers are ready to help you do just that.
Mediation as a Means To an End
Your injuries aren't going to heal overnight. Your work compensation may falter. Your pain and suffering due to the car accident may be immense. That is why you need our 25 years of experience behind you as you fight through mediation (and if mediation doesn't work, we're ready to take your case to trial). We're your advocate, and we ensure you get what you deserve. Call us at (855) 326-0000 now.
Related Articles For Further Reading:
- How Do Accidents Caused by Someone in a Borrowed Vehicle Work?
- Denying Your Claim: The Unavoidable Collision Defense
- How to Pursue Compensation for Injuries Caused by Distracted Driving