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What to Expect From Personal Injury Mediation

Although most personal injury claims settle outside court, the process is never simple. During your personal injury claim, your personal injury lawyer will negotiate with the insurance adjuster, demanding fair compensation for your bodily injuries. However, these negotiations sometimes stall because the insurance company is being unreasonable.

When this happens, the experienced car accident lawyers at Marks Law Group often recommend personal injury mediation. In this article, we'll discuss how mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) can serve as crucial tools during accident claims, and we'll also explain what auto accident victims should expect during the mediation process.

What Is the Difference Between Mediation and Negotiation?

During a personal injury settlement negotiation, your personal injury lawyer and the claims adjuster go back and forth, discussing your personal injury settlement value. Normally, starts the negotiations by either issuing an injury settlement offer or a demand letter. In a demand letter, the accident victim and family ask for a specific settlement figure.

Then, the defense side responds. This process goes on until both parties find a common ground or decide to go to trial.

Mediation is like negotiation in many ways. However, the crash victim and the at-fault party's insurance company are joined by another party known as the mediator. Mediators are neutral parties who are specially trained to guide the disputing parties through their discussions. The mediator’s goal is to settle personal injury disputes efficiently and fairly without a trial.

A mediator trying to settle a personal injury dispute.

Mediators typically look for fair resolutions and try to maintain a tone business-like tone and remain nonadversarial. Sometimes, the mediator acts as a voice of reason by pointing out weaknesses in the arguments of the insurance counsel or injury victim if either side is being unrealistic or unreasonable.

What Happens at a Personal Injury Mediation?

For some injury victims, mediation is typically the first time they take part in the negotiation process. When you agree to mediation, your personal injury attorney will set a date with the defense lawyer and select a mediator.

On the date of the mediation session, you may meet the insurance representative at a neutral location, such as the mediator’s office. The mediation process will start when all the parties are in the same conference room. Your car accident lawyer will present your legal arguments and your personal injury settlement demand. The defense attorney will then do the same while putting holes into your case. During the joint session, the mediator will also ask both sides questions.

Next, the parties will break off into separate settlement conferences. The mediator will meet with the injury victim and their car accident lawyer in a private session privately to discuss their case. Then, the mediator will speak with the at-fault party and the defendant's insurance company to get the defense perspective of your case.

During these meetings, the mediator will discuss your personal injury case with you and our lawyer and ask about the value of your personal injury claim. The mediator will probably go back and forth between your conference room and the defense's room, asking questions, passing on messages, and working with you to find a resolution.

What Is the Next Step After Mediation?

It's essential to note that mediation is nonbinding. So, although a mediator can strongly encourage both parties to agree, they can't force either you or the defense to settle out of court. Thus, you always have the option of going to court.

During a personal injury trial, you'll present your evidence, legal arguments, and witnesses supporting your claim. The defense counsel will point weaknesses in your arguments using their own witnesses, experts, legal documents, and other legal theories. In the end, either the jury or the judge will make a decision about your case.

The trial process comes with some risk, but sometimes it's essential to take a case to trial. At Marks Law Group, our trial lawyers have extensive experience and they'll carefully prepare your jury presentations using data from focus groups, innovative technology, and other tools to strengthen your claims. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact our Decatur personal injury law firm today at 404-939-1485, or chat with us online to learn how our trial attorneys can help.

Do Personal Injury Cases Settle at Mediation?

During the mediation process, the parties seeking a resolution of disputes sit down with a neutral third party called the mediator. The mediator helps these parties find a mutually satisfactory solution to their conflict. Until a dispute becomes a personal injury lawsuit, mediation is voluntary, and it only occurs if both sides request it, and a settlement of the personal injury claim through mediation is reached only if both parties agree to it.

The mediator doesn't make any decisions or even give opinions. If both sides don't reach a resolution, they go back to where they left off before the mediation process. Also, it's essential to note that mediation is a confidential process, which means nothing either side says during the process can be used by the other side in later stages of resolving disputes.

Why Does Marks Law Group Encourage Mediation and ADR Services?

It's imperative to note that mediation works. At Marks Law Group, we’ve discovered that mediation can speed up our clients’ personal injury claims. Also, mediation is less stressful and more cost-effective than a jury trial. A solid mediation presentation and strategy, combined with legal advice from a respected mediator, can encourage an insurance adjuster to be reasonable and offer a fair settlement amount.

What to Expect From  Personal Injury Mediation

Since we know the power of mediation and other forms of ADR, we treat it as seriously as a trial. We use all the information we’ve gathered during our investigation, the discovery process, and depositions to come up with persuasive arguments and settlement demands that are grounded in the facts and Georgia law. 

Our trial attorneys excel at mediation because they prepare every claim as if it's going to trial. This results in immense benefits of mediation because the lawyers are prepared, the client understands the relative value of their case, and if the offer by the defendant's insurance company isn't reasonable, the experienced lawyers at Marks Law Group won't shy away from a trial. For a free initial consultation, contact our Decatur personal injury law firm today at 404-939-1485.

How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help?

When you have an injury claim, an experienced attorney can help you make the most of your mediation session. They can also protect your legal rights during mediation. Their training, legal experience and mediation experience can help you identify things you should avoid in your final judgment.

Also, they can advise about things that have worked in other cases that you might want to include during your mediation session. With an attorney with extensive experience by your side at mediation, you a fair settlement offer that covers all your present and future medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. Ultimately, your personal injury attorney can help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

If you need help to negotiate a reasonable settlement, the experienced Decatur personal injury attorneys at Marks Law Group can help you understand your regal options. Our legal team is known for its attention to detail, aggressive defense strategies, and exceptional client experience.

For a free case evaluation, call Marks Law Group at 404-939-1485 or use our quick and easy online contact form.

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