Most people believe that there are two ways to resolve a personal injury claim when someone else or a business causes them harm. They expect to file an insurance claim or possibly a civil lawsuit. Texas law allows those harmed by the negligence or misconduct of others to ask for compensation in the civil courts. Also, many people and businesses carry insurance to protect against liability if they hurt someone else.
Fewer people realize that there is an alternative to litigation or direct insurance negotiations. Specifically, they may have the option of attending personal injury mediation. What does personal injury mediation in Texas typically involve?
Mediation involves communication and compromise
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that requires both parties involved in a dispute to sit down to discuss the matter. It is standard for each side of the issue to have their own attorneys present during negotiations.
There will also be a mediator overseeing the process. The mediator is a trained legal professional who is neutral. Their job is to help facilitate discussions about the personal injury case and encourage compromise to resolve the dispute. Both parties can talk openly during mediation, as it is a confidential process. What they discuss in their meeting will not become public record. After discovering each side’s perspective and ideal outcome, mediation often revolves negotiation as they seek to reach a compromise.
Someone attending personal injury mediation will typically need medical documentation and other records affirming the extent of their losses. Statements from medical professionals, records exploring what tasks they must perform at work and invoices for losses related to the incident can all help establish that the plaintiff seeking support has requested an appropriate amount of compensation based on the situation.
When mediation is successful, the parties will draft a document outlining the agreement that they reached. Both parties sign the agreement and then have an obligation to follow through with the settlement terms. Often, that means that the party to blame for a car crash or other incident or their insurance company will provide direct financial compensation to the party with provable losses.
Successful personal injury mediation is often faster than litigation and can be more private as well. Understanding what happens during personal injury mediation might help people see the value in this alternative to standard personal injury lawsuits.