Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where a trained facilitator tries to help you and the at-fault driver’s insurance company negotiate a settlement without going to court. There are several factors you should consider to increase your chances of a positive outcome if you use this approach to resolving your claim.
Using Mediation to Resolve a Car Accident Claim
Mediation is typically voluntary, although mediation can be required by a judge in certain circumstances. If you’re considering mediation for your car accident personal injury claim, keep in mind the following:
You Need To Select The Right Mediator
Just as different types of attorneys handle different kinds of cases, mediators have different skill sets. You want to choose someone with experience handling car accident claims who can be a neutral third party. Do not agree to a mediator who provides in-house serves for the other driver’s insurance company.
Legal Representation Is Recommended
Even though you’re not going to court, it’s important to make sure your interests are being protected. The best way to do this is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can present evidence of liability and fully document your damages. Mediators are often retired judges or attorneys themselves, but they can’t give you legal advice as part of the process. They can only point out weaknesses in your case and remind you of the risks associated with going to trial.
Meditators Can’t Force Either Party To Agree To A Settlement
Even if one or both parties is being unreasonable, the mediator can’t pressure anyone to change his mind. However, if both parties agree to a settlement, they will be asked to sign release forms barring them from taking further legal action.
Mediation Is An Investment Of Time And Money
The expense is usually minimal and shared by both parties, but it’s only a worthwhile investment if you’re genuinely willing to negotiate. The time required to mediate depends on the complexity of your case, but most non-catastrophic claims take four to five hours to go through the process.
Have You Been Injured in a Louisiana Car Accident?
If you've been hurt in a Louisiana car accident, you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your legal right to compensation. Please contact us online, or call our Alexandria office to schedule a free consultation to discuss your personal injury claim.