Don’t feel pressured to settle during mediation
November 15, 2021
You know the scene – the one in every movie with any legal battle where the defendant, plaintiff, and their representation sit at a long table, and a third-party person tries to get them to settle their differences out of court. This process is called mediation, and while it doesn’t always play out exactly as it does in the movies, there are some similarities.
In a personal injury mediation, a neutral third party tries to help resolve a claim without going to trial. Mediation is typically voluntary between two parties, unless you are in federal court, then it is court ordered.
In personal injury cases, mediation can be a great tool to resolve claims without the expenses required to go to trial. But, in my experience, insurance companies tend to use mediation to discourage injured victims from seeking full justice in trial for their losses.
In my practice, I always walk my clients through the mediation process so they know what will happen during mediation and what they should expect.
The parties break into two separate rooms. The mediator will go back and forth, gathering information from each side and relaying appropriate information. It is essential to know that when you speak with the mediator without the defense present, this conversation will be confidential. He or she is not allowed to disclose information to the other side unless you expressly give them permission. A good mediator will keep all parties talking while continuously working towards a settlement.
Don’t feel pressured to settle your claim during mediation. Insurance companies will notoriously give low offers during mediation in hopes that you will settle out of court – this is just a test by the insurance company to see if you will bite. At Dawson Law Firm, we will advise you not to settle your case for less than its fair value. This value can be tricky, reason being you are typically accepting less than the case’s TRUE value to avoid the risk of trial. If you go to trial, you could get $1,000,000, however, you could also get $0, and the insurance companies play off of that fear and unfortunate reality.
Sometimes, the negotiations will continue if a settlement is not reached during mediation, and we can resolve your case closer to trial. Other times, the case goes all the way to a trial, however your claim can still be settled during the this time up and until the jury renders a verdict.
Mediation is helpful even if a case doesn’t settle during the process; it helps your attorney know what the defense will focus on during the trial. If your claim doesn’t settle during mediation, Dawson Law Firm is ready to take your case to trial and fight for what you are owed.
Dawson Law Firm, LLC. Licensed in Missouri
Dawson Law Firm, LLC. 222 S. Central Ave. Ste.1100. St. Louis, MO 63105
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