Although the steps after the occurrence of accidents from an outsider’s point of view may seem easy, it is filled with many complicated hoops that one must go through. In the event of an accident, the parties involved seek the most convenient method to solve their dispute. With more than 95% of personal injury claims being settled before trial, both parties most like choose the option of using the meditation process to try and resolve the dispute before going to court.
Meditation is a process in which a trained individual helps the parties involved settle informally and flexibly. Although it is not recognized as law, the insurer of the one at fault chooses this as the first step in trying to offer compensation for the injuries caused. Once the mediation process is suggested, most people are left wondering what to expect and what steps to follow in this process. Therefore, this article will highlight the steps involved in the mediation process to help you be prepared before it commences.
As the first step in the mediation process, one of the parties involved will express their interest in using mediation to solve the dispute. Then the other party is contacted to determine if they are interested in using the same process. After their agreement, the mediation process can begin as soon as possible.
Discussion of Preliminary Matters
In the second step to the mediation process, the parties involved discuss preliminary matters, such as picking the mediator that they want to use for the process. Additionally, an explanation of the rules is given, such as that statements made in the mediation cannot be used in court. In most cases, there is a signing of a written mediation agreement by both parties, stipulating the rules of the process.
After the parties agree to the rules and sign the documentation needed, the mediator will usually ask them to create a brief that outlines their claim, their view on the accident on issues such as who is at fault and the damages involved, and what they hope the mediation will achieve. Additionally, the parties should also prepare the evidence gathered to reinforce the claim that they will make. This should all be done before the next step of the mediation process; therefore, the opportune time to get a personal injury lawyer to help you through the steps.
In Philadelphia, the mediation sessions can occur in person, through video conferencing, or telephonically, depending on the agreement between the parties and the negotiator. The sessions then begin with the mediator asking for information related to the case and usually, the car accident lawyers in Philadelphia give this information. It will include a summary of the dispute and reading the initially prepared briefs from both parties. The mediator may start with a joint session with all parties in attendance. In case of heated exchanges between the parties, the mediator separates the parties and deal listens to them separately.
After back and forth of offers and rejections, the parties are encouraged to land on an agreeable figure where they meet in the middle. Once the request is acceptable to both parties, a settlement agreement is signed. Although mediation is non-binding, the settlement agreement one signed is final and legally binding.
On the other hand, there are times when parties do not come to an agreement or settle, and the claimant retains their right to file a claim suit in these instances.