When settlement negotiations are dragging on without much success, and it begins looking like the only solution will be a trial, mediation may be used to help resolve your claim faster.
Greg Coleman Law provides an overview of how mediation occurs in a personal injury claim and how you can benefit if it is successful.
If you were injured due to another’s negligent actions, our Knoxville personal injury lawyers are prepared to help determine whether you may have grounds to pursue compensation for your losses. We provide a completely free initial consultation, and there is no risk or obligation to you.
If you choose to hire our firm and we represent you, there are no upfront costs or attorney fees to pay out of pocket. You pay us nothing unless we first obtain money for you.
When Does Personal Injury Mediation Occur in a Claim?
Personal injury claims can often drag on for months or even a year or more if the parties are unable to reach a settlement agreement. When this happens, one or both parties may suggest setting up a personal injury mediation. There is no legal requirement to take this step. However, if it is successful, it can save both parties the additional time and expense of going to court.
The process involves a neutral third party, called a mediator. This individual does not have to have legal experience, although it may be useful. Often the lawyers may select a lawyer, former claims adjuster or a person with some other type of legal background, but anyone can serve in this position. There is a cost for mediation, and while it is not cheap, it is minimal when compared to the expense of a trial, and both parties typically split the expense.
What Happens in Personal Injury Mediation?
No two mediation sessions are the same, although the structure is similar. Essentially, it is an informal meeting that follows this general approach:
- Introductions, which typically include a brief explanation of the mediator’s role and the purpose of the session
- Opening statements from the lawyers
- Each party presents his or her case to the mediator
The mediator will not offer any legal advice at any point during this process. His or her goal is to solely work to facilitate open communication between the parties, assess the issues impeding an agreement and identify possible solutions.
If the parties still cannot come to an agreement, anything that was shared during the mediation process is barred from being used in a court trial.
Benefits of a Successful Mediation
There are several benefits to concluding a personal injury claim via mediation versus going to trial, the most obvious being the considerable monetary savings.
However, there are additional benefits to both parties, which include:
- Personal injury mediation helps to resolve claims faster
- Mediation is confidential, versus the more public and invasive experience of going to trial
- Although a judge can order mediation, it is completely voluntary in Tennessee, and a session may be terminated at any point in the process
- Mediation enables both parties to have more input and control over the terms of the agreement
You May Benefit From Having an Attorney Present at Mediation
Having an attorney on your side and present for mediation can benefit you in many ways, such as making sure the mediator remains impartial. Additionally, your attorney will likely prepare you in advance, so you have a solid understanding of what to expect during the session.
If you are unable to reach an agreement during mediation, it will benefit you to have an attorney on your side who is prepared to represent you in a trial. Without that bargaining chip, you could end up with someone who encourages you to accept a lower offer simply because they are not willing to go to court.
At Greg Coleman Law, we are prepared to go to trial, although we will make every effort to reach an agreement for fair compensation out of court. We have a proven track record of recovering millions in compensation for our clients. We are prepared to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
Learn more about how we may be able to help you with your claim by contacting our firm to schedule your completely free initial consultation. There is no obligation to work with us after this meeting, but if we take your case, you will have no upfront costs or fees to pay. We do not get paid unless you do.
Contact our firm to learn more: (865) 247-0080