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    Mediation as an Option for Settling Personal Injury Cases

    Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer Silver Spring MDIf you would like to consider mediation, it may be beneficial to first discuss your personal injury case with a motor vehicle accident lawyer Silver Spring MD accident victims believe in. The legal firm of Cohen and Cohen, P.C. has represented thousands of personal injury victims. Our attorneys have successfully recovered millions of dollars for our clients and they have extensive experience in mediation.

    Mediation can be a less expensive, less stressful, and faster method of settling legal disputes, including those involving personal injuries. When settlement negotiations break down, in an effort to avoid lengthy and expensive court cases, attorneys and insurance adjusters will often be open to mediation.

    How Mediation Works for Personal Injury Cases

    When a motor vehicle accident lawyer Silver Spring MD trusts, their client, and the opposing party agree to mediation, all involved will meet with a neutral third party. The third party, also known as the mediator, is specially trained to help adversarial parties come to an agreement. Mediation is a voluntary process unless ordered by a judge, and it’s undertaken before a case goes to court. This is a more relaxed and informal method of handling the issues as compared to traditional court procedures. In addition:

    • The mediator does not offer any opinions
    • The mediator does not make decisions about the conflict or resolution
    • Both sides must agree to any settlement arrived at during mediation
    • Neither side can use information brought to light during the mediation against the other at any time, even if the mediation process isn’t successful
    • If mediation does not generate an agreed upon solution, the conflict returns to pre-mediation status
    • Both parties must share responsibility for the fees and costs associated with the mediation process


    Clients can likely expect the mediation process to follow these guidelines:

    1. A motor vehicle accident lawyer Silver Spring MD is proud to call their own will take turns with the claims adjuster in speaking to the mediator.
    2. While one party speaks to the mediator, the other party listens.
    3. The mediator moderates who speaks, when, and for how long.
    4. Each party has the opportunity to speak with the mediator in confidence and without the other party hearing what is said.
    5. The mediator relies on the information provided to him or her to guide both parties to a mutual agreement.
    6. Unlike in court, the parties can present their opinions and facts without restriction as to content or method.
    7. Though the mediator is trained in how to conduct mediations, the participating parties do not have to undergo mediation training.


    Where to Find Mediators for Your Personal Injury Claim

    As mediation continues to grow in popularity, it becomes easier to find mediators who can help resolve disputes of varying forms. Not every mediator is qualified to handle personal injury claims against insurance companies and adjusters. A Silver Spring MD motor vehicle accident lawyer may work with one or two mediators on a regular basis and can make a recommendation on who to contact.

    Dispute resolution centers? Volunteers staff these centers and have varying amounts of mediation training. Lacking in legal experience, they are not professional mediators. If they charge a fee for their services it’s nominal. They specialize in mediating disputes between tenants and landlords or customers who might otherwise go to small claims court against small businesses. A motor vehicle accident lawyer in Silver Spring MD will probably not recommend this option for a personal injury claim.

    Independent mediators? Typically, these mediators are retired or sitting judges or lawyers. They usually charge what a motor vehicle accident lawyer Silver Spring MD hires might earn per hour. Many have the experience and legal knowledge to mediate personal injury cases.

    Professional mediators? They are usually retired judges or a motor vehicle accident lawyer Silver Spring MD rates highly for qualifications with a background in law and mediation. Their fees are on the high end and they’re qualified to mediate property, business, and personal injury claim disputes.

    The Advantages of Using Mediation for a Personal Injury Claim

    There are several advantages to pursuing mediation which is why it’s becoming more common and acceptable.

    • If settlement negotiations have broken down, mediation may help to resolve the situation and speed the process of putting your personal injury behind you.
    • It can eliminate the possible need to try your case in court which may cost you a lot of money as well as energy and time.
    • Sometimes when parties meet in person, an impasse can be bridged more effectively than when a claim is handled over the phone.


    The Disadvantages of Using Mediation for a Personal Injury Claim

    There are some potential downsides to using mediation instead of proceeding directly to court.

    • Professional mediation does have a price, with no guarantee that it will be effective at resolving the dispute.
    • Personal injury claim disputes may be best handled by a mediator with experience in handling personal injury cases which limits your choice of mediators.
    • An insurance adjuster may not be open to mediation because of the additional time and effort it may require, especially if they are unwilling or unable to meet with you in person during the mediation process.


    Criteria for Considering Mediation

    As general guidelines, when making the decision of whether or not to pursue mediation to resolve your personal injury claim, consider the following:

    • Mediation may be a good approach if there is more than $2,000 between what your attorney is asking for and the insurance claims adjuster is willing to pay.
    • If settlement negotiations are so hopelessly stuck that going to court is inevitable if mediation isn’t attempted.
    • If a motor vehicle accident lawyer Silver Spring MD trusts and the claims adjuster cannot agree to a settlement because they cannot agree to the seriousness of your injury or the extent to which either party is responsible for your injury.


    Our legal team is adept at negotiating settlements as well as successfully trying cases in court. They can also work with mediators when the situation requires. Whether or not you’re considering mediation, contact a motor vehicle accident lawyer Silver Spring MD deserves; the attorneys of Cohen and Cohen, P.C.

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    * Cohen & Cohen does not maintain a full-time office in Maryland or Virginia, but we do meet clients there upon request.