While it may not seem like it, the ultimate goal of a personal injury claim is for the two parties involved to come to an agreement. The person who has been hurt will need the party responsible to come to terms with paying for their damages. The majority of personal injury claims are settled without the need of going before a judge. If you have filed a personal injury claim, you should expect a good chance that you will reach a settlement and hopefully, avoid the courtroom. With personal injury claims, reaching an agreed upon settlement usually involves mediation.
Your personal injury attorney will lead you through the mediation process by keeping you well informed about what to expect. However, there is also a list of very important questions you should ask yourself before facing the responsible party during mediation.
What outcome in this case would make you feel satisfied with your personal injury claim?
You and your lawyer may have discussed in great length the amount of money you deserve for the damages you have incurred. However, this figure may be more or less than what you would truly feel satisfied with. You do need to consider this before mediation as it will be brought up. It is all too easy to feel so overwhelmed with the process that you give in, or even forget what you need, and agree to a lesser amount.
What is it the other party does not understand about your injury?
It is true that the reason most insurance companies and individuals resist paying for a personal injury in full is because of the money. However, they always base their resistance upon factors of the case they feel are not weighing in your favor. For example, they may know you are hurt, but question whether the extent of your injuries are as bad as you claim. Make sure you consider just what it is that the other party does not fully understand or believe before mediation. It will be imperative that you use these factors to help you sway the odds more in your favor.
How do you really feel about going to court?
Mediation is a calm, organized atmosphere in a room with only the claimant, their attorney, the responsible party, maybe an insurance representative, and their attorney. The mediator plays the role of communicating questions and helping the two sides find an agreement that works. The option beyond this is court. Therefore, if court is something that terrifies you, it's best to work really hard to make an agreement before you get there. Is it worth taking a lesser amount to keep you from having to see a judge? Are you willing to settle in order to get your money now? All of this must be considered.
When handled appropriately, mediation can be a highly effective way to make an agreement with someone who does not see things the same as you. In a personal injury claim, preparation for the mediation is key. Make sure you know what to expect to see the best possible outcome. For more information, contact the Law Office Of John J Barrow.