Posted in Car Accidents on February 24, 2021
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a car accident caused by another driver in Georgia, then you will likely be able to secure compensation for your injuries and other losses. However, the process of securing that compensation can become complicated. While most car accident claims are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers, it may be necessary for an injury victim to file a personal injury lawsuit against the alleged negligent party. Once a car accident claim enters the civil lawsuit process, it can become challenging. In some cases, a mediation may be used as a method of resolving the claim before the case goes to trial.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution commonly used in personal injury cases. When mediation occurs, whether due to a judge’s order or voluntarily between the two parties involved, a neutral third party will be brought in to help broker a settlement between the injury victim (the plaintiff) and the alleged negligent party (the defendant).
If both parties agree to a mediation, a neutral third party will be agreed upon by both sides, and a date for the mediation will be set. Most car accident claim mediators are very experienced in handling these cases. Often, they are qualified attorneys or even retired judges. Mediations are designed to be non-adversarial, with both parties seeking common ground towards a positive resolution.
A mediation is not a courtroom process. Initially, all parties involved will meet at a neutral location. At this time, the mediator will introduce every party that is present, opening arguments will be presented by both sides, and a mediator may ask some initial questions about the case.
After that, both parties will separate, and a mediator will meet with each party individually to discuss the case and any settlement demands. The mediator will act as a go-between for the plaintiff and the defendant, and they will use their understanding of the law and the facts of the current case to analyze the situation. The back and forth will continue as the mediator tries to work out a suitable agreement.
A mediator will pose questions to both parties, relay information, and make informed recommendations to the plaintiff and the defendant. A mediator will be a confidant of each side, and they will not disclose what is said by one party to the other party. However, because a mediator has all of the facts of the case, and because they are able to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of both sides, they can strongly suggest to either party whether or not a settlement is warranted or should be taken.
Ultimately, the goal is to reach a positive settlement for all parties involved without having to go to trial. Personal injury trials can become incredibly complex, costly, and emotionally draining. If a mediation is successful, a plaintiff will receive the compensation they need in a much more timely manner than they would if they had to take their case to trial. Conversely, the defendant in the case will be able to avoid the risks of taking a case to trial and paying more than they are willing to for the claim.
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