When a person is injured in a car accident, by slipping and falling at an unsafe place of business, or by an unreasonably dangerous product, he or she may file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for the damages which he or she suffered. However, this process can be long and frustrating. The victim may feel that the insurance company has wrongfully denied the claim or is not offering fair compensation given the nature and severity of the injuries. Usually, parties turn to mediation to help them resolve the matter more quickly.
Personal Injury Mediation Process
The parties schedule mediation at a time and location that is convenient for them and the mediator they selected. At the beginning of the mediation session, the mediator discusses his or her role as a neutral third party who will guide the parties during the process and that he or she does not have the authority to impose a judgment on the parties as a judge does. Instead, the parties and their attorneys will cooperate and negotiate with the mediator’s help to reach an agreeable solution. The mediator also establishes the ground rules for a respectful exchange.
The plaintiff’s attorney then makes an opening statement about how the accident occurred and why they believe they have a viable claim. Then, the defendant’s attorney or insurance company representative makes his or her opening statement.
The mediator then divides the parties or works with them together. The mediator shares valuable information about the strengths and weaknesses of the parties’ positions and communicates offers and counteroffers between the parties. If the parties reach an agreement, the mediator drafts a settlement agreement.