Not every pedestrian accident case will go to trial. Injury victims often achieve favorable outcomes through a process called mediation. If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, it is important to have an experienced attorney who understands the role of mediation in Boca Raton pedestrian accident cases. Mediation is only one piece of the puzzle in a person’s personal injury claim, however. Experienced personal injury attorneys understand every step in the process. Call Kogan & DiSalvo today for a free consultation.
Mediation in Boca Raton Law
Pursuant to Florida Statute section 44.1010(2), mediation refers to a process whereby a neutral third person called a mediator acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute between two or more parties. It is an informal and non-adversarial process with the objective of helping the disputed parties reach a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreement. In mediation, decision-making authority rests with the parties, while the role of the mediator is to assist in identifying issues, foster joint problem-solving, and explore settlement alternatives.
Mediation is an informal meeting of the parties that is facilitated by a neutral third-party mediator. In Florida, depending on the county where the lawsuit is filed, a mediator can either be chosen by the parties or is appointed by the court from a list of approved mediators. In Palm Beach County, the mediator is chosen by the parties. The role of mediation in Boca Raton pedestrian accident cases is to help the parties reach a mutually acceptable and voluntary settlement agreement. In mediation, several important things can happen:
- The plaintiff’s attorney will first give a short presentation regarding liability and the plaintiff’s damages
- The defendant’s attorney will give a short presentation regarding why they are not liable and will usually attack the plaintiff’s damages either arguing that injury is not serious, the medical treatment was not necessary, or that the medical bills are exaggerated
- The parties are then split up into separate rooms
- The mediator speaks to each party privately while at the same time conveying offers and counteroffers to settle the case.
The goal of mediation is to settle the case, but at the very least if the case does not settle, the plaintiff will walk away with a better understanding of what the strengths and weaknesses of their case are.
Benefits of Mediation
Mediation offers many benefits in Boca Raton pedestrian accident cases. The cost of mediation is determined by the mediator’s hourly rate, which varies based on the mediator chosen by the parties. The parties generally split the cost of mediation, which is much less expensive than going to trial.
Mediation allows the plaintiff to know exactly how much money they walk away with on that date. Trial carries its risks, such as a plaintiff may be liable for the defendant’s costs. Another risk of trial is if the defendant has filed what is called a proposal for settlement prior to trial. If the jury awards 20% less than what the defendant offered in their proposal, the plaintiff will become liable for the defendant’s attorney fees and costs. Settling at mediation alleviates these risks.
Preparing for Mediation
The victim’s attorney will prepare for mediation as they would for trial by crafting a short opening statement, laying out the basics of the client’s claim, and knowing the ins and outs of the client’s case by being prepared to rebut any arguments from the defense attorney. They also need to know the reasonable value of the client’s case so that they can present a reasonable offer and advise the client as to whether or not to accept an offer.
Personal injury lawyers approach mediation with an open mind. Insurance companies, on the other hand, approach mediation by trying to pay as little out of pocket as possible to settle the claim.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, a seasoned attorney could help you achieve a favorable outcome in your case. It is important to choose an attorney who understands the complete process, including the role of mediation in Boca Raton pedestrian accident cases. Call Kogan & DiSalvo for a free consultation, and let an experienced team of attorneys work on your behalf.