The Pros and Cons of Mediation in a Personal lnjury Case
When you’ve reached an impasse with your insurance adjuster in your personal injury claim, you may want to consider mediation. It’s a form of alternative dispute resolution that can help the parties reach a compromise before the case goes to court. Mediation is an informal meeting where the parties involved in the dispute come together to reach an agreement.
In the case of an injury claim, the parties present could include:
- the claimant;
- the insurance adjuster;
- both parties’ attorneys; and
- a neutral overseer, or the mediator.
Mediation is an informal process, and simply gives both sides a chance to get a feel for the issues and hopefully work out a resolution. The mediator does not make a final decision, but rather attempts to facilitate discussion and eventually a settlement. The mediator also strives to keep the discussion two-sided and prevent one party from overpowering the other.
If the parties do reach an agreement, they may draft and sign the agreement. Of course, an attorney should be involved in this process and review the agreement before it is signed.
Potential Benefits of Mediation
The main draw of mediation is that it’s informal. There is no requirement to reach an agreement during mediation, and it promotes discussion between the parties in conflict. As opposed to court or arbitration, there is no final decision maker. If any final agreement is reached, the parties involved in the dispute resolution process will decide it.
Mediation is a confidential conflict resolution process, unlike going to court and presenting the case in front of a judge or jury. Further, the process is voluntary, and either party can leave the meetings whenever they like.
Another benefit of mediation is that you stand the chance of reaching a reasonable settlement without the expense of a trial. Mediation costs are a fraction of court costs, and can lead to a much faster settlement and a lot less headache.
The Downside of Mediation
While mediation is less expensive than settling the case in court, cost is still a major consideration. If the mediation lasts long enough, the costs might outweigh the potential benefits. Furthermore, you run the risk of paying for the mediation and may not be able to come to a mutually agreed upon final outcome.
Talk to your attorney about this potential downside and whether this type of dispute resolution is a good choice for your case.
Having an Aurora Attorney Represent You in Mediation
If you feel the insurance company isn’t handling your personal injury claim as it should be, or you and the insurance company have reached a stalemate, contact the Law Office of D.J. Banovitz to discuss how we may be able to assist you.
Aurora accident attorney D.J. Banovitz is available for a free consultation. Give us a call at 303-300-5060 so we can go over your case and find out if alternative dispute resolutions like mediation may be a viable option your our case.