What is Settlement via Mediation for Personal Injury Clients?
After sustaining injuries in a motorcycle, auto, or other serious accident, Personal Injury clients with lifelong pain and suffering can qualify to recover damages. With an expert attorney on the case, recovering compensation on behalf of a client can come in several forms. One of these recovery methods is through settlement, via Mediation. In this Shaked Law Firm article, we thoroughly navigate the process of obtaining a settlement.
Mediation is most commonly used method of Alternative Dispute Resolution. During mediation, a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer will do their due diligence in obtaining maximum compensation for the client. Compensation recovery through Mediation is a settlement.
What is Personal Injury Law?
Personal Injury Law is litigation or lawsuits that take place in a civil court of law. These lawsuits are usually on behalf of a victim who sustains pain and suffering after an accident. Compensation for lifelong care, lost wages, and medical expenses is usually the goal of a successful Personal Injury lawsuit.
Why won’t every case move to court or trial?
Lawyers with experience under their belt will not immediately rush to take a case to trial. More preferably, an attempt at settlement via Mediation in most cases is preferable.
When lawyers choose to use Mediation, they are seeking a less expensive means of resolving the case. However, resolving a case successfully is never about “saving money”. Reaching a suitable settlement with the insurance company is in everyone’s best interest. Especially the client! Mediation saves a client and their legal team many months or years of legal entanglement. However, sometimes trial is necessary to obtain justice for the client, and the case will proceed to court.
Lawyers who rush clients out the door with a poor excuse for a settlement are not credible.
Is Mediation an alternative to the courtroom?
Mediation is usually prompt, less expensive, and provides a satisfactory resolution. It allows for a fair offer of compensation to the client for their pain and suffering. Many Personal Injury cases resolve through Mediation, and trial will not be necessary. However, not every case will resolve through this method. Sometimes, as is the case in CRPS, TBI, and amputation injuries, the case must move to trial in order to recover maximum compensation. Insurance companies may use “policy limits” as an excuse to try and cheat the client and their family. This is never acceptable. In instances such as a stubborn insurance company, trial may be the only resolution.
What’s fair for Personal Injury clients?
Within Mediation the opposing parties work with a neutral third party. This person is called a mediator and they mitigate the dispute between parties. Unlike ADR method of Arbitration, Mediation is fair. During Mediation, the mediator never has the final say in a dispute. Arbitration hurts Personal Injury clients and is not a safe method of ADR.
What is most beneficial to Personal Injury clients?
When it comes to Mediation, there are several reasons a Personal Injury lawyer chooses this method. A credible, ethical lawyer has clients’ best interest. If something about the case is awry (the insurance companies always “play games”), the client should never worry a credible lawyer is unaware. The “gold standard” law firms, those with at least one Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, see hundreds of mediations to successful resolution every year. These are the Firms that never allow “nonsense” from the insurance companies.
Using Mediation in an effort to obtain a settlement, lawyers for both parties are able to discuss the facts of the case in a clear cut, straightforward manner. However, if nothing agreeable comes of Mediation, the case then proceeds to court or trial.
What makes a credible lawyer and a credible client?
Remember: be honest, be credible, and never lie to your lawyer. One little lie can kill a case! Telling the truth serves to provide justice after a serious accident.
When speaking with a lawyer during consultation, it’s important not to exaggerate or tell a story in order to “force” a law firm to take your case. Lying and lacking credibility can instantly kill a lawyer’s ability to accept a case. Personal Injury cases are taken on contingency. This means lawyer and client stand to make no money if the case is not credible! Personal Injury lawyers invest in clients recovering from real injuries.
What might a Personal Injury lawyer advise a client?
Some of the things a lawyer may advise a credible client on:
- There are instances where the client must agree to no longer pursue further litigation against the defendant. This is usually after the client agrees to the insurance company’s offer. This will be up to lawyer and client to discuss thoroughly, as it’s a big decision and is permanent.
- Accepting a settlement offer means the Personal Injury client relinquishes the right to hold the defendant(s) liable for any Negligence at trial.
- Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all tell a story. A client claiming severe back pain, only to post photos and videos of themselves dancing at the club or working out at the gym on social media can kill a case. Thus, a lawyer will advise their client to refrain from excessive (or any) social media posts during the course of litigation.
What are the two types of settlements for Personal Injury clients?
There are two types of settlements normally available the insurance company makes a reasonable offer:
- Lump-sum Settlement. This is a settlement a client receives all at once. The amount agreed upon is distributed at the conclusion of Mediation. The lawyers agree upon the amount of compensation and the victim receives their share in a single check. This type of settlement allows for massive debt accrued to be easily repaid upon conclusion of the case.
- Structured Settlement. Client and lawyer consult and agree to receiving money in regular installments over a period of time. As a result, this type of settlement works if the client has another source of income or prefers to receive monthly installments to budget their finances.
Always discuss the types of settlements available with your Florida Personal Injury attorney. Each case is different! This means tax questions and questions pertaining to government benefits post-settlement require specific legal advice.