When someone has been a victim to an accident, emotions can often cloud judgment. However, this is not the only factor that comes into play when it comes to settling an accident claim. There are many significant aspects of the mediation process that need to be thoroughly prepared for. This article will guide a client on how an accredited specialist in personal injury can minimize the chances of a failed mediation and maximize the amount of compensation that can be received from an injury claim.
1) Are you thoroughly prepared?
One of the most common reasons why mediations may fail is the simple problem that a claimant was not prepared. This is an easily solved problem if an injured worker or accident victim seeks the advice and representation of a personal injury lawyer. Why? Because, there are several key benefits to doing so:
– Your lawyer will ensure that all the necessary parties to the accident are informed and prepared to properly attend mediation.
– Your lawyer will assemble all the evidence and factual information to best support your claim. This can include complicated materials such as medical reports, expert reports and relevant legislation. Disclosure of relevant material with the opposing side prior to the mediation will increase the chances of an adequate settlement being reached.
– Client conferences are a significant benefit to being represented by an accredited specialist in personal injury. Your lawyer will guide you every step of the way of the process leading to settlement and if necessary, trial. A lawyer will advise you on all of the potential strengths and weaknesses of your case, as well as any offers to settle. They will also seek your instruction so you can be assured that they are acting in your best interests. During a period of high stress and large stakes, it is advisable to have a professional lawyer at your side. You can be certain that the opposing side may very well be doing the same.
2) Are your expectations realistic?
A claimant without proper legal training may be hard pressed to calculate the amount of compensation their claim is worth. They may either seriously prejudice their claim by undervaluing the amount, or they run the risk of failing a mediation by demanding an amount that is exorbitantly higher than the claim is worth. A personal injury lawyer is experienced in assessing compensation and can take all of the facts and evidence unique to your claim and apply it to the law. This expertise is a critical factor in ensuring a settled mediation at an amount that is fair.
3) Do you have both sides to the story?
It is inevitable that the opposing side will have their own perspective on the validity of a claim. One of the most common fears expressed by clients is the fear of insurance companies sending surveillance to hound them constantly and invade their privacy. This information, if found, is often used to discredit the claimant by showing that their current activity is contrary to what they reported to their medical practitioners. If information such as this does become available, it mostly arises closer to the mediation stage of a claim. But do not be intimated by this. An accredited specialist in personal injury is aware of the tactics used by insurance companies and can best mitigate their effect to reach an adequate settlement.
4) Are your experts in conflict?
This is a classic scenario. Your expert says that your injuries fall outside the 6% whole person impairment (WPI) and that you are unable to work. The insurance company’s experts say that you’re actually okay and should return to work right away. How do you resolve this situation? There are resolutions that may be used in order to clarify these expert opinions that a lawyer can employ. To a regular claimant, these options may be difficult to exercise without the assistance of a lawyer.
5) Are emotions clouding your judgment?
A claimant’s injuries and pain may render them impatient, pessimistic, angry or even grieved by the entire legal process including mediation. Expressing a desire to progress quickly through negotiations is an aggressive negotiation tactic that may be employed. However, this may not always be helpful in reaching settlement. Personality clashes between individuals are another common, yet underestimated impediment to negotiations. As such, the ability to effectively negotiate may be critically hindered without the claimant even realizing it. Retaining an accredited specialist in personal injury allows the claimant to rely on a professional who is not subject to those same emotions and potential impediments.
Mediation is an informal, yet potentially complicated process. If you have been victim to a motor vehicle accident, workplace accident, or any other type of accident that has caused injury, it is important to contact a professional right away. A free, no obligation case review will allow you to get the critical preliminary advice you need so you can make better informed decisions on your claim.
Do not delay in contacting an accredited specialist in personal injury. If you would like more information on how East Coast Injury Lawyers can assist you in your personal injury claim then do not hesitate to contact us or fill out our case review form.