Personal Injury Disputes

A personal injury claim is a claim in which an injured party is seeking compensation for injuries or other damages they sustained due to another person’s actions or omissions. In a personal injury claim, the plaintiff is the one who suffered the injuries and the defendant is the party whose negligence or intentional wrongdoing is alleged to have caused the injury. In order to recover, the plaintiff is required to prove that the actions or omissions of the defendant were negligent, or otherwise tortious, and that the injury or damages were proximately caused by such tortious actions or omissions.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method. Through this alternative dispute resolution process, the mediator, who is a neutral third party, tries to facilitate a voluntary settlement between the plaintiff and the defendant without going to trial. Mediation can be voluntary or may also be court-ordered. In recent times, people have started to look for options that offer an alternative to the expensive and time-consuming litigation process. Personal injury cases occur often and constitute a substantial percentage of civil lawsuits in the United States. Mediation session enables the parties involved in personal injury cases to settle the case amicably through mutual negotiations. In personal injury cases, there are often insurers involved in addition to the parties. Mediation allows the parties to the dispute to avoid litigation risk and expense, while crafting a settlement that suits their purposes (which may include a desire for privacy or a desire to avoid the diversion of time and attention inherent in litigated matters).

What Kind of Personal Injury Claims Can be Settled Through Mediation?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that around 39.5 million unintentional injuries occur every year that require a medical consultation. Many personal injury cases that only involves civil liability for damages and compensation can be settled through mediation. Sometimes, the civil part of a personal injury case that also involves violations of another law may be settled through mediation and without a trial. For example, an auto crash involving drunk driving will involve a traffic violation charge as well which will be dealt with by the law enforcement authorities. However, the dispute between the parties related to the compensation claim may be settled through mediation.

The following are some of the most common types of personal injury matters that can be resolved through a mediation settlement:

  • Auto accidents
  • Slip and fall cases
  • Premises liability claims
  • Defective product claims
  • Medical negligence claims
  • Dog Bites

Who Are The Parties In a Personal Injury Mediation?

Typically, the following parties are present at a personal injury mediation process:

Mediator

The mediator, usually a lawyer, is a mutually appointed neutral third party who is in-charge of the mediation session and facilitates settlement between the parties. The parties should carefully select an experienced mediator who is willing to patiently and compassionately settle the dispute between them. The mediator does not offer legal advice, but rather tries to resolve the dispute with a fair settlement at the mediation.

Plaintiff/Victim

This is the person who suffered injuries or whose property was damaged or both. The injured victim is entitled to seek compensation for the same from the defense side at the mediation.

Plaintiff’s Lawyer

Typically, a personal injury lawyer acts as the counsel for the plaintiff and advances the victim’s strong points at the mediation. The lawyer should only agree to settle when a fair settlement that compensates for all the injuries suffered by the victim is offered.

Defense Side

From the defense side, a defense attorney and sometimes, the defendant is present at the mediation. The defense lawyer will try to make the plaintiff accept a settlement that is lesser than what is deserved.

Insurance Adjuster

The insurance adjuster accompanies the defense lawyer and represents the insurance company of the insured defendant. Insurance adjusters are seasoned professionals from the insurance company who also usually try to settle for lower claim amounts.

To schedule a free consultation for your case, call us today at 201-252-7000 or contact us to speak to an experienced New Jersey personal injury mediator.

What Happens At a Personal Injury Mediation?

By choosing this mode of alternative dispute resolution, the parties try to prevent a potential court trial and aim to reach an agreement by agreeing on a compensation of fair value. Usually, the mediation session is conducted through the following steps:

Opening Statements

Usually, all the parties make their opening statements that they prepare in advance in the presence of the mediator in the same room. The plaintiff’s side will make an opening statement regarding the merits and value of their claim and may also describe the supporting evidence they have. Then, the defense side and insurance adjuster will also make their opening statement on why the injured should accept the settlement offered by them.

Negotiations

After the statements are made, both the sides usually sit in separate rooms. The mediator moves back and forth exchanging information between the parties and facilitating the mediation session. The mediator may explore the strong and weak points of their respective cases, understand their interests and position, and help them consider the likely best and worst possible outcomes if the matter does not settle.

Settlement Agreement

If the negotiation is successful and parties reach an agreement to resolve the case, is usually advisiable to enter into a written agreement recording what each party agreed to settle for will be signed. After this, if there is pending litigation, the personal injury lawyer often will prepare and file the required paperwork with the court to dismiss the lawsuit.

Release Document

As part of any settlement, the plaintiff will usually sign a release document stating that he or she releases the other side from liability.

What if a Settlement is Not Made Through Mediation?

Personal injury mediation is non-binding and can be terminated anytime before the agreement is signed. If during the mediation process, either party feels that the negotiations facilitated by the mediator will not result in a settlement acceptable to them, they can voluntarily leave the process. The victim may then file a personal injury lawsuit (or continue with their pending suit if a case has already been commenced).

What are the Benefits of a Personal Injury Mediation Over Litigation?

A personal injury mediation offers many benefits over a formal legal case trial. Some of them are:

  • Mediation is voluntary, informal, and the parties can control the outcome of the case. If during the mediation, either side does not wish to proceed ahead, they can terminate their participation.
  • The victim has a chance to personally meet the claims agent from the insurance company and give a more personal statement. In a courtroom case, the claims agent might only get to form an opinion from the files and documents submitted.
  • Mediation is quick and the parties can choose the date, time, and place as opposed to court-appointed dates.
  • Mediation reduces hostility and the settlement has more chances of compliance when it is voluntary.
  • The parties minimize their litigation risk and defendants (who typically pay their attorneys hourly) limit litigation expense.

CONSULT WITH AN EXPERIENCED CIVIL MEDIATOR

Mediation is a cost-saving, time-efficient, and effective way to achieve a mutually agreed-upon resolution to civil disputes, while avoiding the time, expense, and risk associated with resolving a dispute in court.

If you believe your legal dispute can benefit from mediation, call Lex Mediation Services in New Jersey at 201-252-7000, or visit our contact page to schedule a free initial consultation with a knowledgeable and experienced New Jersey Civil Mediator.

What Types of Compensation Can be Recovered Through Mediation?

Through mediation, the victim can usually get all types of compensation for the injuries suffered that is otherwise available under law in a formal legal case. The injured can get compensation for:

  • Medical and hospital bills

  • Property damage

  • Present and future loss of wages for missed work

  • Permanent or long-term disability or bodily injuries

  • Pain and suffering

INQUIRE NOW

Consult With an Experienced Personal Injury Mediator

Mediation offers many benefits over a courtroom case. It is cost-efficient, time-saving and parties are in control of what happens to their case. By resorting to mediation, they can appoint a mediator who is experienced, fair, and willing to listen to all sides of the story.

We offer a free consultation for our mediation services. If you believe your personal injury case can be settled through mediation, contact Barrister Mediation Service today at 201-252-7000 or contact us for a free consultation with an experienced and compassionate mediator.

Mediate with Lex

A mediation with Lex is an efficient way to address any contract dispute. We are presently conducting mediation solely by Zoom. It is hoped that in person sessions will resume by 2022. Call us today at 201-252-7000 to discuss how we can help.

LEAVE US A MESSAGE

Thank you for your message. It has been sent.
There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later.