Personal Injury Mediation
MEDIATION BY A ST. PETERSBURG PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY
Mediation is a procedure designed to assist parties who have an injury claim to reach an agreement between themselves and the insurance carrier – privately, confidentially and informally. Mediation is for people who want to settle their claim without going to court. However, since mediation is voluntary, if an agreement is not reached during mediation, then the parties will be then able to file a lawsuit and go to court.
Mediation employs the skills of a neutral and impartial third party, called a mediator, who assists the parties in making their own decisions by providing necessary information, clarifying issues, helping explore alternative solutions and suggesting possible compromises. Issues mediated may include liability, causation and permanency of injuries, and the value of the claim.
The goal of mediation is to help the parties reach their own acceptable agreement by exploring all choices, to avoid the need for a court-imposed decision, to assist the parties in understanding the terms of their agreement, to prepare the parties to resolve disagreements that might arise, and to reduce anxiety and the negative effects of going to court. The St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys at The Law Offices of Charles D. Scott have helped countless clients reach an agreement with their personal injury claims and they are prepared to help you today.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF MEDIATION?
The advantages of mediation are that it provides an opportunity for cooperation between parties, it provides the parties with the tools to structure an agreement in their best interests, it helps with the exchange of information and alternatives for a settlement between the parties, minimizes the potentially traumatic emotional and psychological effects of the adversarial process, and provides the opportunity for a resolution which is less expensive and time consuming than a court trial.
The mediation process begins either with a court order or by an agreement of the parties. The mediation, as a neutral and objective participant, plays an active role in the mediation process by assisting the parties effected by the outcome and their attorneys in reaching a settlement. The mediator’s purpose is to help identify issues, develop bargaining proposals, and conduct negotiations with the goal of coming to a settlement that is agreeable to both parties. The mediator clarifies and organizes details, prompts discussion and cooperative communication and manages conflict. The mediator does not make any decisions for the parties but helps with the parties’ own decision making processes. If and after an agreement has been reached, the mediator will draft a memorandum of understanding to be reviewed and approved by the parties and their attorneys.
Mediation is not supposed to replace an attorney experienced in the area of personal injury law. The parties are urged to seek independent legal counsel because, although some mediators are attorneys, the mediator is not authorized to give legal advice. The mediator’s role is neutral and is not a substitute for independent legal advice. The mediator does not represent either party but focuses on helping the parties reach their own agreement. While the decisions reached in the mediation are made by the parties, it is important that they be informed decisions. The parties are at all times permitted to communicate with their attorneys. If both parties are aware of their respective legal rights and have been fully informed by their own attorneys, then the mediation process can be much more beneficial. Upon completion of the mediation, the mediator will submit the memorandum of the agreement to the parties’ attorneys. If necessary, the attorneys will draft a settlement agreement from the terms of the memorandum for filing with the court.
The mediator’s fee is usually quoted on an hourly basis. Both parties share equally in the expense of mediation. Mediators typically charge approximately $200.00 per hour and a mediation usually lasts a minimum of three hours. Your cost of mediation will be forwarded to the mediator by our firm, however, this is a cost that will be taken out of your recovery. However, this process is significantly less than the cost of litigation.
If you are in need of Personal Injury Mediation services, call the St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys at The Law Offices of Charles D. Scott PLLC today at 727-300-4878, or submit the case evaluation form and we will be happy to discuss your case with you. The consultation is free and you will speak with a lawyer, not a paralegal or intake specialist. Don’t delay, you may have a valid claim for your injury case, but you must bring your case within the statute of limitations.