What Is the Car Accident Mediation Process in Florida?
When the negotiation process after a car accident in Florida becomes complex, lengthy, and unhelpful, mediation may be the answer to resolving your dispute. Mediation is a process commonly used during personal injury claims to assist both parties as they work through their differences and come to an agreement. By choosing mediation, you can reduce your negotiation time and the likelihood of your claim going to trial.
After a car accident in Florida, the mediation process begins with both parties scheduling a casual meeting with an impartial mediator. During this process, the mediator will describe how mediation works and how it can help resolve your dispute. The plaintiff and the defendant will have their attorneys present, who will present each case to the mediator during the meeting.
The mediator may not offer any legal advice; however, because they are an impartial third party, they may be able to suggest resolutions both parties agree to. While mediation is helpful, it does not always resolve the issue. If mediation is unsuccessful, your claim may be taken to trial, where the information discussed during mediation will not be repeated before a judge.
When does the Mediation Process Take Place After a Car Accident in Florida?
Negotiation is critical after a personal injury accident; however, it is not always the most helpful tool to resolve a dispute. When negotiation is lengthy or unsuccessful, it may take years for both involved parties to reach an agreement. Mediation is used to resolve matters faster than taking your claim to trial to avoid wasting time and money.
The mediation process after a car accident in Florida begins when negotiations between the plaintiff and defendant have proved unhelpful. When neither party can agree to any of the solutions suggested during negotiation, mediation begins to add an impartial third party who has the purpose of helping the plaintiff and defendant resolve their issues.
Mediators do not always have a legal background and may not offer legal advice during mediation. However, your attorney may suggest who should be your mediator based on experience or successful previous mediations.
What Happens During the Mediation Process?
Though each mediation session is unique surrounding the circumstances of your particular case, the mediation process is very similar each time. Mediation is a relatively relaxed meeting between the plaintiff and defendant, their attorneys, and a mediator. Every mediation session will follow this basic meeting format, including the following items:
- Introductions — The mediator will introduce themselves and explain how mediation works and how it may help resolve your claim after a car accident.
- Opening Statements — After introductions, the mediator will allow the attorneys to give opening statements concerning your case. Your attorney will present your side of the story and possibly suggest how the defendant could resolve it.
- Opening Dialogue — The Mediator will open with the goal of reaching a resolution. If the two parties do not agree during the mediation process, the case may be taken to trial.
If your case is taken to trial, everything aside from your conversation with the mediator will be presented before a judge and jury. Taking your case to trial can be overwhelming, but it can help you resolve your car accident claim if the mediation process is unsuccessful.
Will My Car Accident Attorney Be With Me During the Mediation Process in Florida?
During the mediation process, you will be allowed to have your car accident attorney present. Bringing a lawyer to meet with the mediator can benefit you in several ways. They will help ensure the mediator remains unbiased and that your case is well-represented during the mediation process.
Involving your car accident attorney in your mediation process will also be helpful so they can prepare you for the mediation process. Your lawyer will answer any questions and explain what you should expect to happen during and after the mediation process.
Starting the mediation process can feel overwhelming; however, having your car accident attorney with you can help reduce stress and anxiety as they continue to work for your benefit and resolve your claim after a car accident in Florida.
What Are the Benefits of Mediation?
Mediation can be helpful for some after negotiations have failed to produce results. According to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, mediation has many advantages. Mediation can benefit car accident victims in Florida in many different ways, including:
- Casual & Informal — Mediation is informal and flexible for the needs of both parties. Your attorney does not need to be present; however, it is recommended.
- Confidential — Mediation is confidential. Your mediation session will not be recorded or shared with anyone. If the mediator takes notes during your session, they will be destroyed directly after the meeting.
- Efficient & Cost-Effective — Mediation is usually quicker than taking your case to trial and a lot less expensive. Mediation allows for a resolution to be reached sooner so you can move on after a car accident in Florida.
What Happens if My Claim Goes to Trial?
Though mediation is a helpful tool, there are certain instances where involving a mediator will not change the outcome of your dispute. If you’ve gone through mediation without reaching an agreement with the other party, your claim may go to trial. If your claim goes to trial, you must appear before a judge and jury in court, where your attorney will represent your case.
Six steps happen during a Florida personal injury trial before a verdict is given. The following steps include but are not limited to the following:
- Selecting a jury
- Opening statements
- Witness testimonies & cross-examination
- Closing arguments
- Jury instructions
- Jury deliberations & verdicts
Florida Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You
After a car accident in Florida, it is understandable that you’d like your claim to be resolved as quickly as possible. Negotiations may take weeks or months, and your claim may still go to trial. By opting for mediation, you can spare yourself time and money and reach a resolution sooner with the help of an impartial third-party mediator.
Mediation is a resourceful way to problem solve without extra anxiety or stress. Mediation might be your answer if you’re ready to resolve your claim and collect damages.
If you’re suffering after a car accident, don’t wait any longer. Speak to a Fasig | Brooks car accident attorney in Florida to learn more about your options for mediation after a car accident.