Sometimes the two parties engaged in negotiations manage to hit an impasse. At that point, the chance for a settlement seems to vanish. Still, both sides feel reluctant to schedule a hearing in a courtroom. Consequently, the two sides might agree to try ending the dispute by using mediation.
Mediation brings a 3rd party into the picture.
That 3rd party is a mediator, someone who has been requested by both sides. The neutral mediator can be a professional or a volunteer. An experienced mediator understands that he or she should refrain from making any decisions. At the same time, the mediator must refrain from offering any opinions.
Basic structure used during mediation sessions
• During the first stage of the session each party speaks to the mediator in the presence of the other party.
• During the second stage, each party speaks to the other party in the presence of the mediator. The mediator acts as a facilitator.
• During the third stage each party speaks alone to the mediator.
Finally, the mediator encourages a resolution. While offering such encouragement, the mediator must never recall or review anything that has been said previously, by either party. On the other hand, the mediator cannot force the two sides to resolve their dispute.
Benefits of mediation
It serves as an alternative to fighting things out in court. It costs money to take a case to court. In addition, it forces the plaintiff and the defendant to set aside a huge block of time. In other words, time and money can be saved by using the mediation process.
The adjuster sees the face of the plaintiff. That can cause the adjuster to work harder at reaching some sort of settlement with the plaintiff’s injury lawyers in Trenton. No new documents need to be brought to the mediation session. No experts must be called. Nothing said by either side can be used later in a courtroom, if the dispute does not get resolved.
The two parties can reach a settlement at any point during the negotiations or at any point prior to, during or after a court session. Because the two parties have met during a mediation, the chances that the two of them might reach a settlement amount increases. The two parties must reach an agreement on certain issues that relate to the mediation’s setting. The two sides must agree on the mediator. This helps the two sides to come together, a condition that increases the chances for a settlement.
Drawback to mediation
After the case has been resolved, the decision becomes final. It cannot be studied in a courtroom. It cannot be appealed. Mediation does not get the plaintiff back to the point where he or she was before the accident.