When two sides are struggling to come to an agreement, it is often helpful to bring in a third party who is trained to resolve similar disputes. One method for doing this is called mediation, and it may help you resolve your dispute with the insurance company about compensation for a car crash.
There are several things you should know about mediation, including when you may be able to use it and the process involved. If you are having a dispute with the insurance company about damages for your car crash injuries, give Schmidt Kramer a call today to learn how we may be able to assist you.
There are no upfront fees and we do not get paid unless we win your case.
Can You Initiate Mediation?
You can ask the insurance company to participate in mediation to resolve the situation, but they must agree to it. However, if your lawyer files a lawsuit, the court may require both sides to attend mediation before a trial can begin.
There are pros and cons to mediation, just as there are pros and cons to filing a lawsuit and going to court. It is important to discuss the situation in detail with a licensed Harrisburg auto accident attorney who has a successful track record negotiating car insurance claims.
The Mediation Process
If both sides agree to mediation, or mediation is ordered by the court, a date will be set, and you and your attorney can start preparing. The mediator is typically someone with experience in legal disputes, such as a lawyer or insurance claims adjuster. Regardless of the mediator’s background, he or she is supposed to be unbiased.
Mediation begins with the mediator reviewing the limits of this form of dispute resolution. For example, nothing either side says can be admitted into court. That way both sides feel free to discuss the situation without concern about how it may be used against them later.
Both sides will also review the rules of the process and sign a document stating they have been informed of the rules.
The next step is for the one filing the claim to explain their view of the case – what happened, why the other party is at fault, etc. You can have your lawyer do this, as he or she has experience resolving cases and knows how to present a strong argument.
After the plaintiff’s side presents its view of the case, the other side is given a chance to explain its perspective on the case. For example, the insurance company may explain why it has denied your claim or why it is worth less than you are claiming.
Once both sides present their view of the case, there may be back-and-forth discussion, or the mediator may separate both sides and speak to them one-on-one. The mediator will likely be looking for some give and take from both sides to try to come up with a settlement both sides can agree on. It is the mediator’s job to figure out the barriers to a resolution and try to break those down.
Should You Use Mediation?
It is important to note mediators do not have the authority to enforce an agreement. Mediators do not have the authority to force the insurance company to agree to your demands, or vice versa.
That means you should not go through with mediation unless you have good reason to believe the other side wants to resolve the claim. If the insurance company does not want to resolve the claim, the whole exercise may be a waste of time.
That is why you should strongly consider finding an experienced attorney to discuss your claim with. The experienced lawyers at Schmidt Kramer know how to determine when alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, may be a viable option. Our goal is to get you the maximum compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible.
One of the advantages of mediation is you are not leaving the case in the hands of a jury. However, sometimes juries may be very sympathetic to your case.
Call Today with Your Legal Questions
At Schmidt Kramer, we do not charge our clients upfront fees. There are no fees to discuss your potential case and no fees while working on your case. We do not get paid until the end of the legal process, provided we win your case.
There is no risk in giving us a call to discuss your situation and find out what we may be able to do for you. Our experienced attorneys have helped many car crash victims obtain compensation.
Schmidt Kramer. Millions Recovered. Call (717) 727-1403.