Typically, two paths are open to victims dealing with personal injury cases: mediation and litigation. When the involved parties move to litigation, they take their dispute before a judge or jury. Of course, the time, money, and emotional toll of this process add up quickly.
However, mediation is often faster, cheaper, and more collaborative. A mediator acts as an impartial third party to assist the parties in settling rather than a judge or jury. Mediation occurs privately and encourages greater dialogue than litigation, which is public and often quite stressful.
Thankfully, Beckerman Anderson is here to help if you need assistance weighing your options. Keeping your options open and consulting with a qualified legal team can help secure the compensation you need for a smooth recovery.
Mediators in Personal Injury Claims
First and foremost, a mediator acts as an impartial third party to facilitate communication between disputing parties to understand their respective positions and interests better. They don’t pass judgment or make final decisions, but they do act as a conduit for communication, encouraging cooperation.
Through discussion and negotiation, the mediator helps the parties find a compromise that works for everyone. By doing so, they transform a potentially heated argument into a constructive conversation to reach a compromise.
How Does Mediation Work in Personal Injury Cases?
Mediation is more than simply settling a disagreement; it’s also about keeping the peace. Mediation promotes mutual understanding and open dialogue between parties, in contrast to the combative nature of litigation.
Essentially, mediation offers a path for two or more parties to talk about the case and learn about one another’s points of view without getting into an argument. The goal is to find a solution that all parties approve, so mediation is particularly beneficial in the event that a plaintiff already knows the defendant and wants to avoid litigation for personal reasons.
What’s more, mediation meetings are private, and the information is usually kept confidential. This ensures that the mediation room is a safe space for all parties to address their issues without fear of outside interference. Furthermore, it ensures that people may express themselves openly without worrying that their comments will be exploited or used against them. This degree of confidentiality protects the parties from public scrutiny and fosters an atmosphere conducive to productive dialogue, which is often essential to finding a workable settlement.
Objections, motions, opening and closing arguments, and jury deliberation are tense. But all of this may be avoided by mediating and settling out of court in California. The emotional and physical toll that a trial might take should be considered while planning for your recovery, and there may be more benefits than you think when it comes to mediation.
Is it Better to Settle a Personal Injury Case?
On top of the benefits of mediation, most cases can be settled for less than the cost of the trial. Witnesses, who are typically invaluable when it comes to proving damages in a personal injury case, must be compensated for their time and expenses. For example, the hourly rate of an expert witness in California might easily reach hundreds or thousands.
Unfortunately, even requesting a jury trial in Orange County will cost you money. But if you settle, you avoid many of these expenses. This is crucial when considering that a personal injury settlement is meant to restore financial security after you’ve suffered damages.
Jury Deliberation vs. Mediation and Settlement
The fate of your personal injury claim, even if it’s a slam-dunk case, ultimately rests in the hands of the jury when you take your case to trial. Juries are given detailed instructions on how to deliberate and follow the law, yet their verdicts sometimes come as a surprise or even seem to run contrary to your expectation that they remain impartial. In other words, there are no assurances in the justice system.
When you choose mediation and settle out of court, you avoid these uncertainties. The terms will still be favorable, given that you agreed to those terms in mediation, and you can still consult your lawyer to review the finer points.
On a related note, procedural delays can be another downside to trial. The length of time required to prepare for and conduct a trial is almost always long, and it might be months before a jury can hear your case.
Is Mediation in Personal Injury Cases Public?
As mentioned above, a key benefit of mediation and settlements is that the process remains private. Records from California courts are available to the public. That is to say that the courtroom is open to the public, and a court transcript is a public record that anyone can read.
On the other hand, the details of any out-of-court settlement are the only information that will be made public. Your medical records and other personal information are not part of the public record without your permission, so there’s no need to worry about who would see this information or what private details could be made public.
Finally, it is difficult for any party to fight successful mediation or overturn a settlement (although it is possible if fraud or mutual error is involved). A settlement is the ultimate verdict in the overwhelming majority of cases.
Call an Orange County Personal Injury Attorney
Do not wait to seek the advice of a qualified attorney if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident. No matter the circumstances of your accident, a skilled lawyer can walk you through your legal options and help safeguard your rights.
After an accident has left you with injuries and other losses, you might be eligible for financial compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages or earnings, emotional trauma, and more.
Contact our Orange County personal injury attorneys at Beckerman Anderson to learn more about your options for mediation. Call us at 949-409-4242 to schedule a free initial evaluation and consultation. We’ll stop at nothing to fight for the justice that you and your family deserve during the frustrating aftermath of a personal injury.