In the past, when negotiations over a personal injury case hit a wall, the only option was to take it to court. This resulted in long, difficult, adversarial and expensive processes. Even worse, it takes the control out of your hands and places it into the hands of a court, and you must abide by whatever decision they render.
What if, however, there was another way, a way where you and the other party could sit down, discuss your differences and find a way through that impasse? What if you could come to a compromise that was satisfactory to everyone involved?
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is an entirely voluntary process that can be used to break down the walls that exist between parties in a difficult negotiation. Sometimes when you are trying to negotiate an injury settlement, you hit a point where neither party is willing to go any further in discussions. You’re certain you can’t accept any less, and the insurer isn’t willing to pay out anymore.
In mediation, all parties sit down with a neutral third party to discuss why they can’t pursue further, and the mediator helps them to find a way through the impassable issues. Each party has a chance to have their say, and the final decision allows avoiding expensive court processes, while keeping control of the situation in the hands of those directly involved.
How Does Mediation Work?
The first step in mediation, of course, is for all parties to agree to mediate. During the process, everyone sits down with the mediator, who may or may not be a judge or attorney, but is always trained in the process. The mediator makes no decisions, but facilitates discussion and acts as an unbiased advisor.
Each side in the conflict gets a chance to speak directly to the other side and present their argument. There are no intermediaries or third parties relaying messages. After this, each side sits down privately with the mediator, who listens to what each party has to say on the matter. The mediator is not permitted to divulge what is said in these private sessions.
Finally, everyone comes together again and the mediator attempts to convince each side to soften their position. While they may not reveal what was said during private talks, they can use this knowledge to make their arguments. Ideally, the result is a compromise that satisfies everyone involved.
Advantages of Mediation
Mediation can save a lot of time and conflict, while allowing a viable resolution to the problem. It forces insurance companies to place specific effort on your case, and makes them view you as a human being with a face and a name rather than as a number or statistic. It has been proven to be quite successful, and is growing in popularity.
South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer
Even if you do decide to try mediation, it’s always a good idea to have a South Carolina personal injury lawyer in your corner. An attorney has the knowledge and experience to help you make the right arguments and steer the negotiations your way. If you’re in this situation and need help with an adversarial insurance adjuster, Harris and Graves can help. Contact us for more information and an evaluation of your case details today.