Mediation in Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury cases involve a different set of dynamics than other kinds of mediation cases. There is no long-term relationship which needs to be maintained, as with mediation in a landlord tenant case or a business partnership, and the parties do not have a long-standing, complicated relationship to unravel, as in domestic relations cases. With the help of a qualified personal injury lawyer, injury victims can meet with a representative from the insurance company and or defense counsel to settle their claim against the insurance company. If the case settles in mediation, which it does most of the time, mediation can completely resolve the matter. The claimant walks away with a check and the insurance company walks away with a settled claim. Personal injury cases most appropriate for mediation are ones in which the insurance company admits total or partial liability for the accident and the main question is the extent of damages. If the insurance company denies liability for the claim, we generally do not recommend mediation because there is nothing to negotiate. The insurance company won’t pay any money and the claimant thinks it should. At Suarez & Montero, the majority of personal injury cases we mediate involve automobile accidents and slip and falls. Other types of injury accidents are certainly appropriate for mediation, but they tend to be more complicated. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at mediation in personal injury cases.

The Benefits of Mediation in Personal Injury Cases

No Expert Fees or Added Litigation Costs: The process of mediation helps reach a settlement decision without having to use additional money or resources. In our opinion, insurance companies should offer mediation as an option more often. The claimant and the insurer both benefit from early resolution and the claimant can obtain compensation without incurring expert witness fees and other litigation costs. The earlier the insurance company can close the file; the earlier reserves can be released. Personnel costs of having the claim in the system will be saved as well. If a lawsuit is avoided, the company also saves the legal costs of filing an answer and other defense costs. If the company accepts liability, this makes sense.

Unbiased Mediator: Mediation is a way for parties in a lawsuit to talk about their issues and concerns and to make decisions about the dispute with the help of another person (called a mediator). The mediator attends a mediation as a neutral third party to help you focus on solving your dispute. However, a mediator is not supposed to decide who is right or wrong or to tell you how to resolve your dispute.

Fast Resolution of Claim: While the parties in a personal injury mediation do not have a longterm relationship as opposed to other types of mediation claims, injury victims usually have other issues which need to be dealt with. Mediation provides the injury victim an opportunity to work through frustration and rage about the accident that caused their injury. Once these feelings are aired, the mediator in charge of handling the mediation process can provide an unbiased reality
check of the strengths and weaknesses of the economic value of the personal injury claim. As the injury victim and his or her attorney are interested in getting the best settlement possible, all relevant facts are likely to come out at the mediation in an efficient manner. The insurance company representative has been able to use the process to gather all relevant information as early as possible and evaluate that information for an early resolution of the case. This saves everyone a lot of time and avoids the lengthy discovery and trial process.

Flexible Solutions: A mediated agreement allows you and the other person or party to reach flexible solutions to your dispute. Mediation is not a trial nor an arbitration. In our experience, parties walk away satisfied after a personal injury mediation. Clients are glad to have the matter over with and a check to take to the bank. As an attorney, we are happy because we likely maximized the recovery for our client without incurring unnecessary costs.

Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney Today!

Before you attend a mediation alone, there are a few things you can do to help prepare yourself and to help make the mediation more beneficial for you. Since a mediator cannot give any legal advice to any parties, if you are not currently represented by an attorney but you have legal questions about your case, you should reach out and speak with one of our personal injury lawyers so that we can help you make an informed decision about settling your case. The law protects injured victims by permitting them to obtain compensation from the at-fault party who caused their injury. Personal injury claims lawsuits are new for most and as a result, it is common to make mistakes that can hurt your chances of obtaining a fair settlement of your claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you avoid common mistakes injured claimants make when dealing with an insurance company. If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident or if you have questions about the mediation process, contact us today for a free consultation.

We serve clients throughout Florida including those in the following areas:

Miami-Dade: Aventura, Coral Gables, Doral, Fontainebleau, Hialeah, Homestead, Kendall, Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Lakes, North Miami, Tamiami, and Westchester.

Broward: Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, and Weston; and Palm Beach County including Boca Raton, Lake Worth, and West Palm Beach

Jaime Suarez

An experienced legal personal injury defense professional in Miami, who is dedicated to helping accident victims with personal injury cases involving automobile accidents, brain and spinal cord injuries, slip and fall accidents, prescription errors, wrongful death, and accidents at work.