What Happens During Auto Accident Mediation?
Mediation for an auto accident can help accident victims recover fair compensation in a third-party claim. The crash victim, often represented by an attorney, and the insurance company representing the at-fault driver meet with a trained mediator to try to find a middle ground. If both sides agree on a payout amount, they can end the case without going to trial.
If you are considering pursuing a case against the at-fault driver after your Florida crash, you will want to work with a car accident attorney. At the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato, we provide free case reviews. We can determine if you can sue in your case and explain what typically happens at mediation for an auto accident. Call (954) 633-8270 today to get started.
What Does a Mediator Do in an Insurance Claim?
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV),
245,936 accident injuries occurred in Florida in 2022. Florida’s no-fault laws provide a way for many people to recover compensation through their personal injury protection policy. However, victims can still sue under certain circumstances. When this occurs, mediation may help them avoid trial when other negotiation tactics fail.
Mediators are third parties trained to help others reach an agreement. They play a role in many civil cases, from divorces to personal injuries. Courts often require mediation when two parties need to agree or take their case to a jury trial. The mediator serves as the go-between to help the victim and the at-fault party negotiate a fair settlement.
Different negotiators handle the process differently. Sometimes, everyone sits in one room. Frequently, they are in the same building but in separate rooms. The mediator moves between the rooms with offers and discussing concessions. They provide guidance based on evidence, similar cases, and how they believe the judge would handle the case.
What Role Does My Attorney Play in Mediation?
When you go to mediation for an auto accident, your attorney will represent you and handle the negotiations on your behalf. You will most likely be there, and the ultimate decision is up to you. However, your personal injury attorney will offer guidance and information about the offer, including if they believe it is appropriate for your case.
One key role your attorney has is to ensure you understand the possible settlement range of your case. If one of our attorneys represents you, we will gather documentation of your recoverable damages, work with experts, and take other steps to understand the value of your expenses and losses. This could include:
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
- Medical bills, current and future
- Estimated ongoing care and support needs
- Income losses
- Diminished earning capacity
- Other related expenses
With a good understanding of how much your accident cost you, it is easier to know when to accept an offer. This allows us to protect your right to a fair payout. We will fight for your best interests throughout this process, even if that means not agreeing to a payout during mediation.
Our Florida car accident attorneys know what to expect during auto accident mediation. We represent clients during mediation regularly. We can help you understand what will happen and may even have experience with the mediator working on your case.
Does Mediation Produce a Final Decision?
Mediation does not always produce an agreement or a final decision. The hope is that the mediator can help the parties find a middle ground, but this is not always possible. Unlike in arbitration, the mediator does not have the authority to mandate a decision. Instead, if there is no agreement, the case continues to trial.
Courts often require mediation before putting a trial date on the docket. Once the parties notify the court that there was no final decision through the mediation, they will set the case for trial. Each side will present its case to the judge and jury. They listen to the evidence and decide the case.
Our Florida car accident attorneys represent clients from the day they sign a contract for our services until the close of the case. This includes settlement negotiations, mediation, and at trial, if necessary. While we often settle cases without going to trial, we will not advise our clients to accept a too-low payout offer to avoid court. We fight for our client’s best interests. f
Discuss Your Florida Auto Accident With Our Personal Injury Team for Free
The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato offer free case assessments for people hurt in Florida auto accidents. Under certain circumstances, Florida law allows those injured to sue the at-fault motorist or another liable party. Mediation or settlement negotiations often help us avoid trial and recover fair compensation for our clients.