Mediation is a legal process that is becoming ever more popular in settling personal injury cases. While an injury case should be simple — the guilty party fesses up and takes responsibility — that sadly is a rarity. All too often, negotiations for settlements reach an impasse, which can lead to costly and bitter court fights that really benefit nobody.
Mediation is a way to avoid giving up control to the courts and saves money at the same time. Learn what mediation is, why it’s a useful tool for those who have reached an impasse in negotiations, and how a personal injury lawyer is important.
Mediation vs. Negotiation
Almost all personal injury cases begin with negotiation; that is, a process whereby you ask for a certain sum for your injuries, the other side comes back with a counter offer, and there’s a back and forth where each side argues their case and tries to come out on top. While many injury suits are successfully negotiated and settled, sometimes the parties simply hit a wall where they can’t go further.
Mediation is a sort of middle ground between negotiation and court, whereby a neutral third party, the mediator, helps the two sides talk through their impasse and come to a compromise solution. Ideally, this compromise is acceptable to everyone, and tons of time, stress, and money is saved in the process.
How Mediation Works
In the process of mediation, all parties must first agree — the process is completely voluntary and is only legally binding if everyone is on board. The mediator may be a personal injury lawyer, judge, or other party who is not associated with the case and is completely neutral.
All parties at this point sit down and discuss their case. Each side has the opportunity to speak directly to the other and argue their points directly. At this point, the parties have the opportunity to speak to the mediator privately. The mediator may not reveal what has been said in these private sessions.
However, the final stage involves the parties all coming together once more, and at this time the mediator is permitted to use what they know from the private talks to encourage the sides to get past their barriers and reach a settlement.
Mediation carries a number of distinct benefits. From a financial standpoint, it can save time and money on court fees and costs. It also allows you to keep control of the settlement process, rather than allowing a judge to make the decision. Finally, it forces the insurance adjuster to view you as a human being rather than a statistic, and to put special time into your case.
New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer
Even though the process of mediation is informal and direct, it’s still important to have the support and knowledge offered by a qualified New Jersey personal injury lawyer in your corner. A lawyer knows how to argue your case — how to make sure your rights are protected and your points heard. If you would like some help mediating your injury case, call on the attorneys at Peter N. Davis & Associates, LLC today.