In many personal injury cases, there’s a dispute over who’s at fault and why. That’s where personal injury mediation comes in. But what is personal injury mediation, when might you need it, and how does it work? Let’s find out, starting with what exactly ‘mediation’ is.
What Is Personal Injury Mediation?
As we said above, many personal injury cases come to a deadlock over who’s to blame. Even if they were at fault, it’s rare to get somebody who simply admits it. Bear in mind that there may be a lot of money at stake for both parties. This kind of dispute over money can bring out the worst in anybody. And it’s especially the case if there are elements of blame on both sides.
Since the case is deadlocked, something needs to be done. Mediation may be the answer. Mediation is simply getting everybody around a table, and involving an independent third party mediator. This independent mediator helps the two sides come to an agreement. This is normally an agreement of shared blame: the precursor to a joint settlement. The mediator has a number of responsibilities:
- Actively listening to what each side has to say. This makes sure that everybody feels happy, and feels heard.
- Acting as a go-between if the two parties refuse to talk to each other. This isn’t often the case in personal injury, but it definitely is in cases which involve things like divorce or custody.
- Putting forward alternative solutions to simply “You’re to blame.” These solutions are compromises which provide a benefit to both parties.
What Happens During Personal Injury Mediation?
Mediation is simply a large meeting, at which all the relevant parties are present. You’ll be there, as will the other party. Your lawyers may also be present. But most importantly, the independent mediator will be there too. These meetings often take place around a round table, so that everybody has an equal seat, and nobody is left out. The mediator will then ask each party for their side of the story. This may take a while if the situation is a complex one.
Afterwards, the mediator will give their opinion. They won’t be judgemental or point fingers at either party. Instead, they’ll suggest what might help the situation to move forward. They’ll ask questions of each party in an attempt to find a solution that pleases everyone. This could be something as simple as saying sorry to one another! However, there is no solution if you don’t agree to it. The mediator will therefore continue helping until everybody is happy. This may not be the case after just one meeting.
Once the two sides have come to a conclusion, you will then be invited to sign a binding contract. This contract outlines the solution that you’ve agreed to. It’s legally binding, so can effectively bring the case to an end.
When Do You Need Personal Injury Mediation?
Personal injury mediation is necessary if neither party can agree on who was at fault. This may be the case because:
- One side is too stubborn to accept that they may have been, or may also be, at fault
- There is no evidence to prove either party’s claims (i.e. dashcam footage)
- There are no witnesses to corroborate either party’s side of the story
- The insurance company/companies can’t decide who was at fault
- The two sides are refusing to co-operate, e.g. by sending each other relevant documents
- If you are trying to solve the case without hiring an attorney
The two sides must each agree that mediation is necessary before it can take place. However, if you refuse mediation and the case goes to court, this reflects badly on you and your side of the story. It’s therefore advisable to at least try mediation, in good faith, rather than holding out any longer.
Benefits of Personal Injury Mediation
Mediation is an excellent idea for a number of reasons. First, mediators are specially trained and experienced in finding creative solutions. They’ll be able to get both parties talking, and find an idea that makes everybody happy. And because they’re independent, they won’t favor one party over the other.
Mediation also ends in a successful resolution far more often than not, and fast. It’s your best chance of getting the case over and done with before court. It’s far less stressful and confrontational than court, too. So if a court case is next on your agenda, find somebody to mediate your case as soon as possible.
If your case has got to this point and you’re going it alone, though, it’s best you found an attorney. Mediation and court can be stressful without one. But how do you find an expert personal injury attorney at this point in your case?
The easiest way is to call 719-PAIN. We’re a telephone hotline solely for the people of Colorado Springs and the surrounding area. We can help you find personal injury physicians and chiropractors, as well as attorneys for your case. And all it takes is one phone call. Interested? Here’s how it works.
- Give our telephone hotline a call (719-PAIN).
- Talk to one of our expert advisors. They’ll ask you a few non-sensitive questions about your accident and case.
- They can then forward you to whatever help you need in the local area.
We’ve scoured Colorado Springs for the best attorneys and physicians you can find. We don’t make money for making particular recommendations, nor do we charge you for the service. If you’re interested, all it takes is one phone call. So call today!