When people think about personal injury claims, they probably expect one of two approaches. Some people simply file an insurance claim using the coverage of the party responsible for the incident in question. Other times, individuals affected by the behavior of another person or the negligence or misconduct of a business will file a personal injury lawsuit.
People may not realize that there is another option beyond negotiating an insurance settlement or taking a matter to civil court. Personal injury claims, like any other kind of significant interpersonal dispute, are issues that people could potentially address via mediation. Roughly 96% of serious personal injury lawsuits actually settle before going to court, and some of those cases settle because people attended mediation.
What does personal injury mediation involve?
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process that brings in a neutral professional to help resolve a conflict between two parties. Personal injury mediation will obviously focus on a claim related to someone getting hurt due to a car crash, a defective product, a dog bite or any other scenario in which one party is clearly at fault.
Mediation typically involves both parties having their own legal representation and then working with a neutral mediator. The mediator’s role is to facilitate communication and compromise. By going through the details of the case, often together in the same room, the parties can potentially reach a compromise that everyone agrees would be reasonable given the circumstances.
Personal injury mediation will lead to the dismissal of a pending lawsuit if the parties reach a workable compromise and sign an agreement. Successful mediation would allow someone to avoid the stress and delay of taking the matter to civil court. They can also sometimes help preserve an amicable relationship between the two parties, which can be particularly useful in scenarios involving neighbors or members of the same community.
Mediation offers a host of benefits for the parties involved in a conflict, including increased privacy and more control over the final resolution to a dispute. Considering personal injury mediation is an option when this approach might lead to a faster (yet still fair) resolution for everyone involved.