If you have been injured in a car accident and are considering how to hold the at-fault party liable, going to mediation might be an option for you. However, you should not make this choice unless you are clear about what it involves. Keep reading to learn about mediation and feel free to contact Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn at (310) 209-1600 for a consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.
The Difference Between Negotiating and Mediation
When we negotiate your car accident claim, we work directly with the insurance company in an attempt to get a fair settlement for damages. This begins when we initiate a demand letter in which we outline a settlement amount that would work for you. Ideally, the insurance company agrees and pays your claim.
However, that is rare. Instead, they generally offer a counter and we negotiate back and forth until an agreement is reached. If we cannot reach an agreement, then there are two options: going to court and going to mediation. Mediation is a type of dispute resolution in which a neutral third party listens to both sides and brokers a deal.
Once both sides of the dispute agree on mediation, they choose a mediator and a date. In most cases, mediators are retired judges or attorneys who have experience in the particular type of case they are mediating. They facilitate the settlement process and look for common ground so that both parties will find the outcome acceptable.
The neutral party, or mediator, is generally a retired judge or experienced attorney with relevant experience in car accident cases. Mediators facilitate the settlement process in a non-adversarial manner, seeking common ground between the parties and moving them toward a final resolution.
The Mediation Process
All parties meet at a neutral location – not a courthouse. It is often done at the office of the mediator’s office. All parties will go to the same room, arguments will be made, and the mediator might ask any questions they have. Then the parties go to separate rooms and the mediator meets with each privately to talk about settlement demands. Their job is to help both sides understand the strength and/or weakness in their arguments.
Mediation Does Not Take the Place of an Attorney
While a mediator can help both sides understand why they should budge on their settlement requirements, this does not mean that you do not need an attorney there representing you. To request a consultation with an experienced attorney, contact Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn at (310) 209-1600.