Mediation is a method of dispute resolution often used to reach settlements in auto accident cases, without having to go to court. Through this process, a trained mediator
works with you and the insurance company to reach an appropriate settlement. Mediators do not make any mandates or requirements, but instead serve to facilitate constructive discussions between the two parties. Mediation ends when both parties agree to a figure.
The process usually begins with the parties discussing preliminary issues, such as a disclosure that statements made during the mediation process are not admissible for use as evidence in court. This allows for a free and open conversation.
You will also have an opportunity to present your point of view and a proposal for resolution. The other party has that same opportunity, and then the negotiations begin. The mediator will help each party understand the other’s side.
Getting the most out of mediation
Below are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure a positive mediation process:
• Make sure everyone is actively participating in the discussions. You should not, for example, carry all the conversations yourself.
• Choose a mediator who has experience with auto accident claims. You can make this request from your local court.
• Understand that your mediator does not have the authority to force you to agree to anything. A mediator can make recommendations based on his or her experience in similar cases, but you alone can decide to approve or deny a settlement.
• Realize you don’t have much to lose by going through mediation. Although there is a cost associated with it, you will not “lose” your case if you are unable to come to a mutually agreeable settlement during the negotiation process.
For more information on how mediation works in car accident cases, work with a knowledgeable La Plata personal injury attorney
at Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A.