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When a pedestrian is severely injured to a motor vehicle driver’s negligence, the injured party could seek compensation for damages. Often, instead of going to trial, many individual’s prefer mediation. The role of mediation in Oak Lawn pedestrian accident cases can help resolve issues such as settlement negotiations. Frequently, lawyers for the insurance company and the injured pedestrian will not discuss the possibility of settlement. Both parties will pursue the case with the intention of going to a jury trial. A mediator can help both parties see common ground and hopefully reach a compromise agreement to settle the case.

Mediators have great skill at explaining the positives and negatives of the case to both parties. Mediation is not binding, and neither party is required to accept the recommendation of the mediator. However, it is certainly something to consider in all pedestrian court cases. Speak to a knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorney to discuss your options and eligibility to recover compensation.

What is Mediation?

Mediation can happen at any time and in any type of claim or case. Mediation simply means an agreement to discuss a possible resolution of a case. Mediation is often used when a case is in litigation. There are many qualified mediators who can assist in the process. A mediator is a neutral party who talks with both the pedestrian and the driver and their lawyers in an attempt to reach a settlement agreement.

If mediation is unsuccessful, both parties always have the option of continuing with litigation and ultimately deciding a case in front of a jury.

Role of a Mediator

While there are no requirements to be a mediator, many mediators are retired judges. To be an effective mediator, they must have experience in the type of cases that they are mediating. For example, in a pedestrian accident case, it is important to have a mediator who has familiarity with these types of cases and with the injuries sustained.

Likewise, if the court case is a commercial litigation matter, the mediator should have experience in those types of cases. Both parties need to agree on the mediator. For this reason, mediators are very careful not to take sides in mediation. Both sides must trust the mediator and their recommendation.

How Do Insurance Companies Approach Negotiations?

When a case is in litigation, most insurance companies want certain things to occur prior to suggesting mediation. For example, they typically will want to take the deposition of the injured person. After that point, the insurance company may suggest mediation. Mediation is a helpful tool for the injured person as well as the insurance company to try to reach a negotiated settlement agreement.

An insurance company will look at the potential damages in the case and what they may end up having to pay if they lose the case. They will base their offer at mediation on those factors.

Costs and Benefits of Mediation

There are several benefits to participating in mediation and very little costs associated with the mediation. Many cases are settled as a result of mediation. This certainly is a benefit for all parties. Mediation can also help both parties understand the relative position of each other. Finally, mediation may reveal certain strategies or evidence of the insurance company and what they feel are the important issues.

Cost of Mediator

Typically, in mediation, both sides will split the cost of the mediator. The mediator may be a practicing lawyer or perhaps a retired judge. These people will charge both parties a fee for their time to mediate the case. Even if the case does not settle, there are benefits of going to mediation. Of course, they must pay the mediator whether the case settles or not. But if the case does not settle, presumably, they will receive more money as the case proceeds.

Preparing for Mediation in Oak Lawn

It takes both parties to agree to mediate a case. If one party wants to mediate and the other one does not, there will be no mediation. Typically, plaintiffs will wait for the insurance company to suggest the possibility of mediation. However, that is not always necessary. Sometimes the relationship between the lawyers is such that mediation is an advisable idea for both.

The important part of preparing for mediation is to present the strongest possible case to the mediator and to the insurance company. While mediation is held out of court and is not part of the court case, it is still helpful to present the strongest evidence possible in order to obtain the best settlement amount.

The lawyer should prepare the mediation as if the case was going to court. The lawyer should have all the evidence and exhibits prepared. The mediation typically is very informal and off the record, and as such, it does not require the same preparation as a deposition or trial testimony.

How a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Could Help

Following an accident, the injured party could seek compensation in a personal injury lawsuit from the party that caused them harm. It is generally in everyone’s best interest to settle a case. A successful resolution of a case may require mediation. A mediator will help both sides get closer to a number that is acceptable to both sides. However, there is no requirement that a case settles at mediation. Call today to learn more about the role of mediation in pedestrian accident cases and how it might be helpful for your specific situation.