In the past, when negotiations over an injury claim went bad or hit a wall where parties couldn’t agree, there was only one option: go to court and fight it out. Unfortunately, this option is rarely ideal. Court battles can be long, stressful, bitter and expensive. They also mean you give up control of your negotiations to a judge—it’s often all or nothing.
Now, however, there’s another option: mediation. Learn about what mediation is, how a personal injury lawyer handles this process, and why it might be a good idea to get a solid settlement in your case.
What Is Mediation?
When two parties reach a point in negotiations where they can go no further, they might agree to enter mediation to try and reach a settlement. Sometimes mediation works and sometimes it doesn’t. It is a completely voluntary process that at its best can save time and money, get over impasses in negotiations, and help provide a solution that is satisfactory for everyone involved.
How Does Mediation Work?
A mediator is a neutral third-party who is trained to help guide conflicting parties to a successful conflict resolution. The mediator makes no decisions but may be an attorney or judge. Once all parties are agreed that mediation is the way to go, the first step is for everyone to sit down with the mediator and talk.
Each side gets a chance to present their case directly to the other side. Sometimes mediation can occur right here. Often, however, the process then proceeds to step two, where each side has a private discussion with the mediator to talk about where they are, what they want, and why they think they’re in the right.
Finally, all parties join together again, and the mediator uses their knowledge of the private conversations (without revealing what actually was said) to try and convince everyone to meet somewhere in the middle.
Benefits of Mediation
There are many benefits to using mediation to resolve injury claims. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that you get to keep control of the negotiations and decision. Whether or not you come to an agreement is up to you, not a court or judge.
Secondly, it forces the other side of the negotiation to view you as a human being. Up till now, you’ve just been figures and words on paper. This method forces the insurance company to put specific focus and effort on your case, which makes them look at things more closely and see how you need help.
Using a Personal Injury Lawyer
Even in this informal process, you should still seek help from a personal injury lawyer. An Oklahoma City attorney knows how best to present your argument, counter the claims of the insurance adjuster and defendant and ensure you get the full compensation to which you’re entitled. If you’re at a negotiation impasse, Parrish DeVaughn Law Firm can offer years of experience in personal injury law to help. Give us a call to talk about your case for free, today!