If two parties are having trouble coming to an agreement, it is often beneficial to have a third party involved to settle the dispute. One approach for doing this is known as mediation. In a car crash claim, it may help you resolve your dispute with the insurance company regarding compensation.
Below, learn more about mediation, including when you should use it and what happens during the mediation process. If you have been in a car crash and are in a dispute with the insurance company about your injuries and damages, our attorneys at Sigman Janssen are here to help. Reach out to schedule a free initial consultation to get started. There are zero upfront fees to retain our services.
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What is Mediation and Who Initiates It?
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution approach where two parties work with a neutral third party to come to a mutually agreeable resolution. For mediation to happen, both parties must agree to it. You and the other driver (generally the other driver’s insurance company) must agree to split the costs to hire a mediator. Your attorney will guide you through negotiations at mediation.
Mediation can also be faster and more cost-effective than going to court. Most car crash claims are settled out of court as litigation can be lengthy and expensive. However, if your attorney files a lawsuit, the court may require both parties to attend mediation in an effort to reach a settlement before the trial starts.
There are advantages and disadvantages to mediation that should be discussed with an experienced attorney. It may be beneficial to you based on your particular circumstances.
What Happens During the Mediation Process?
If both parties agree to mediation or it is part of a court order, a date will be scheduled, and you and your attorney can begin preparing for it. Each party will put together a brief with evidence that supports their position and what they are demanding from the settlement, which is submitted to the mediator.
At mediation, the mediator will provide a brief introduction, informing each party that anything disclosed during mediation is confidential. If the case were to go to trial, nothing that happens can be used as evidence in court. Both parties can freely have discussions without it being used against them.
If you made the claim, you will have the first opportunity to explain your view of the case. For instance, what happened, why the other party is at fault for the car crash, as well as the damages you have suffered. Your attorney can also speak on your behalf during the mediation process.
The other party will then present its view of the case and explain how things should be resolved. For instance, the insurance company may explain why it denied or devalued your claim to begin with. The insurance company may say why they think you are partially or fully to blame for what happened.
After both parties have spoken, there may be a back-and-forth discussion, or the mediator may separate each party into different rooms to meet with them one-on-one. The mediator will try and convince one side to compromise on something and vice versa in the hopes that both parties agree to a settlement.
How Long Does Mediation Generally Take?
Mediation can be as long or short as it needs to be. This will depend on several factors, such as the facts of the case, the unique needs of both parties, as well as the complexity of the issues involved. The process could take longer if both parties do not want to budge.
Using Mediation to Resolve Your Car Crash Claim
A mediators’ role is to simply facilitate and make recommendations. They cannot require either party to do anything and have no power to make rulings. They are only tasked to bring both parties together in an agreement. This is important to know if you are looking to use mediation to resolve your car crash claim.
You should only consider mediation if you have enough reason to think that the other party will want to reach a settlement. If the insurance company refuses to settle the claim, the entire process may be in vain. On the other hand, you may not have a choice in the matter if mediation is court-ordered.
Get Answers to Your Legal Questions Today
A licensed Appleton-based auto accident attorney at our firm is ready to review your claim and discuss the options available to you – including mediation – during a free legal consultation.
We have helped many car crash victims over the years obtain fair and just compensation for their damages. We are skilled negotiators and want nothing more than to represent your best interests. If you have a viable case, we charge nothing up front to hire our firm. We only get paid if you get paid.
Call (920) 328-0700 for a Free Case Review.