Although heading to court is an option in your personal injury case, it is not always the most desirable. A potentially better solution for settling your case is to try mediation. If you are unsure of whether or not mediation is ideal for you, here are some of the reasons why you should or should not try it out.
Why Choose Mediation?
One of the biggest reasons for opting for mediation instead of a court battle is the cost. When you go to court, not only do you have to worry about filing fees, but you could also end up paying for experts to testify and attorney fees. Mediation is a far less expensive option. Outside of the fees for the mediator, there are very few other fees associated with the process.
Mediation is also ideal if you are unsure you have a solid case. In court, your attorney has the burden of proving to a jury that you are deserving of compensation. Juries can be fickle, and as a result, it can be harder to make the case that a defendant was in the wrong. By contrast, you do not have to worry about meeting a certain standard to prove your case. You and your attorney only need to convince the defendant that it is worth his or her time and money to settle the case.
Another benefit of mediation is that you get a chance to put a face on your claim. When you file a claim with an insurance company, it is very likely that you and the adjuster will never meet face-to-face. This makes it easier for the adjuster to hardball you in negotiations. In mediation, you can sit across the table from the adjuster and put a human face to your claim.
Why Avoid Mediation?
Depending on your defendant, it might be difficult to convince him or her to actually attend sessions. If you are dealing with an insurance company, making a personal appearance in mediation can be difficult to do for some adjusters. Remember, adjusters are dealing with more than one case than yours. As a result, he or she might not have the time to show up for the sessions needed to settle your case.
Another downside to mediation is that it could take several sessions before an agreement is reached. This could lead to another disadvantage. The more time you spend with the mediator, the more costly it becomes. If you only need a few sessions, the cost should be less than court. However, if mediation extends beyond those sessions, you could be facing heavy expenses.
If you are still unsure whether or not mediation is for you, talk to your personal injury attorney, like those at Whiting, Hagg, Hagg, Dorsey & Hagg. He or she can help you decide the best course of action for your case.