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Mediation for Your Car Accident Claim

Mediation could be a great way to reach a settlement quickly.   Your Missouri car accident attorney can help you decide if this is the way for you to receive the right amount of compensation.

court-buildingThe vast majority of car accident claims are settled before they make it to a jury trial. In many instances, they are referred to a process known as mediation where a mediator works actively with both parties to try and come to an agreement that they both deem fair. In a car accident case, you, along with your Missouri car accident attorney, meet with the defendant’s attorney and a representative from the insurance company to try and settle the case. If you have recently been hurt in a car accident and are seeking compensation, this is likely going to be one of the steps you will encounter.

The High Rate of Success

Statistics show that in 80% of cases, mediation is successful. This is good news for both sides, since not only is a jury trial costly, it can also take a long time. The major difference is that the decision is binding. Unlike a trial, there is no appeals process for a mediation hearing. Be sure that before going into it, you and your Missouri car accident attorney have a clear understanding of your expectations and what is negotiable. Remember, this is an agreement process. There is a certain expectation of compromise from both parties.

The Process of Mediation

At the hearing, all parties will be together to present evidence. This is a much more informal setting than a courtroom, so don’t be afraid to ask questions or make challenges. You will probably be offered a settlement amount at this time that is much lower than you anticipated. Don’t accept it and don’t be discouraged by it. The process is just beginning and the defense is trying to get an idea of what you are expecting.

After the joint session the parties separate and the mediator goes back and forth between the two trying to work out the compromise. The mediator may seem to be spending a great deal of time with the defense.  This could be a good sign for you, for this usually means the mediator is working hard to get them to see your side of the situation.

When Mediation Is Not the Answer

Don’t be discouraged if an agreement cannot be made. Mediation is not always the answer. Your Missouri car accident attorney will know from his experience when to throw in the towel and move onto a jury trial. This could work to your advantage like it did for a Missouri plaintiff who injured his back after being struck by a pick-up truck. He was willing to settle the case for $350,000, while the defendants refused to budge over $250,000. He and his Missouri car accident attorney decided on a jury trial where they awarded him $789,000, over double what they had asked for at mediation. Depending on the circumstances your attorney will know if backing out of mediation is best for your case.

Quickly Reaching a Settlement

The primary damages caused by a car accident are medical, with a hefty price tag. Most plaintiffs are anxious to reach a settlement and have those bills paid quickly. For them mediation is a great way to speed up the process and put the accident behind them. If you have recently been hurt in a car accident, ask The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 if this is the right path for you to receive compensation.

Photo credit:  bobosh_t

Updated: January 25, 2017