Every year, more and more legal professionals are moving away from settling injury cases through the traditional legal channels. Court cases are adversarial, to say the least. They can be long and bitter, and are almost always expensive. They are rarely in the best interests of anyone involved.
This is why when negotiations come to an impasse, some attorneys turn to mediation as a potential solution. Learn about resolving personal injury claims through the process of mediation, how it plays into your case and why having a Tampa personal injury lawyer is important.
What Is Mediation?
In general, a personal injury case begins with negotiation between the parties. In many cases, however, the negotiation reaches an impasse that neither party can get through. One party is refusing to pay what the other wants, or refuses to bring their demands down, or both. In either case, there’s a wall that in the past would lead to a difficult court trial.
Now, there’s a step between negotiation and trial that can be taken. This is the process of mediation. Mediation requires an agreement by all parties before it begins, and involves both sides sitting down with a mediator, or neutral third party, who doesn’t make any legal decisions but helps everyone involved come to an acceptable compromise between the extremes. It’s designed to save money, time, and arguments.
The Process of Mediation
When all parties agree that mediation is the best approach, they sit down in an informal setting with the mediator, who may or may not be an attorney or judge, but is always trained in the process, and have a chance to state their side to each other. This has the advantage of putting a human face on the situation, and in allowing the parties to speak their piece directly.
Following the direct face-to-face, each party will then have the opportunity to speak to the mediator in private. Finally, the mediator will speak to the sides, attempting to coax the parties into an acceptable compromise position. The exact process can vary from mediator to mediator, but this is the general way these procedures go.
The mediator is not allowed to reveal what was said in confidence but may use the information during their efforts to coax the parties into agreement.
Why Use Mediation?
Often, negotiations for an injury case simply reach an impasse that cannot be broken down. The two choices at this point are to fight it out in court and accept whatever ruling a judge hands down (which can cost either or both sides a great deal) or to try mediation. Mediation allows you to maintain some control over the settlement and helps you to overcome differences by seeing the other side’s position.
It also forces the insurance adjuster to see you as a person rather than a number and makes them give your case special attention and effort. The input of a neutral third party can also help to break down the walls that have created the stop in negotiations.
Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’re mediating in Florida, having a Tampa personal injury lawyer in your corner is a good idea. A lawyer will ensure your rights are protected, you have the information you need to argue your case, and can help you guide your case to a successful resolution. If you live in the Tampa area and would like a free consultation, call Disparti Law Group for help today.