After a car accident, there are a few things that may happen. Some car accident claims may end up going to court, where the jury will decide how much money goes to the victim. Most of them, however, only need a mediation process, which happens out of the courtroom.
The mediation process can be confusing and stressful if you aren’t sure what to do, but when you do know how to handle it, it can be a relatively simple process. We’ll walk you through it and give you all of the advice you need to have a successful mediation.
What Is a Mediation Process?
Mediation is a type of conflict resolution that relies on the help of a neutral third party or “mediator.” The mediator listens to both sides and is then tasked with helping to solve the dispute through compromise. This process allows the dispute to be settled without having to go to court and is generally considered an efficient and reliable process.
The key to a good mediation process is to follow the generally accepted pattern, argue your side with evidence and reasoning, and allow the other party to state their case as well. Following these steps correctly will ensure that the process is fair and unbiased, which means that the mediator can help you see eye to eye and come to an agreement.
The Typical Mediation Process
While the exact mediation process will differ based on the situation, meaning that the pattern is not one-size-fits-all, there is a typical way that mediations tend to go. Following this process when you’re able to can help you get the best possible result and avoid ending up in court.
Step One – Finding the Mediator
Who you select as your mediator is important, which is why you shouldn’t choose just anyone to do the job. You should select someone you can trust to do their job without bias and with an understanding of car accidents.
Common mediators include retired judges or lawyers, both of whom have experience handling these types of problems and can argue for both sides of the dispute without any personal bias. The mediator should also be someone that both parties feel comfortable working with.
Step Two – Lay the Ground Rules
Before you begin the mediation, you should lay down some ground rules. For example, a common rule is that nothing either party says will be admissible in court, protecting people from having their claims used against them later. Once again, the rules should be something everyone agrees on. They can be put into writing with signatures to make them official.
Step Three – Mediate
With the mediator chosen and the rules set, the mediation process can begin in earnest. This means laying down the positions “on the table,” having a back-and-forth to argue one’s point of view without silencing the other party, and allowing the mediator to hear everything that needs to be said. The mediator may also move both of you to separate rooms and move between them to deliver proposals and listen to points in private.
Ultimately, the mediator will get you to try and see the other party’s perspective so that you can come to a conclusion. Typically, the process will only take an hour or two and end with both parties willing to come to a compromise. However, not all mediation processes end in an agreement, and this is normal as well; not all disputes can be resolved through mediation alone, and sometimes, the issue may have to end up in court.
Your Car Accident Attorneys
Lamar Law Group has experience in helping clients all over Georgia handle the aftermath of a car accident. We can help you prepare for your mediation by supplying evidence, helping you figure out an argument, and helping you decide what’s a worthwhile agreement to make. If the mediation doesn’t work, we can help you prepare for a trial. Contact us today to get a free quote.