Personal injury claims can often come to a standstill if you and your insurance company cannot come to an agreement to settle your dispute. In this instance, you may want to consider hiring a mediator to help you settle your claim. If you are in the Tennessee area, consider an experienced Knoxville personal injury lawyer from McMahan Law Firm to help you reach a fair resolution.
What Is A Mediator?
A mediator is a neutral third party that you can hire to mediate an interaction between you and your insurance adjuster. This is a low-pressure, in-person, informal interaction where nothing either one of you says can be used against you if the case goes to court in the future. The mediator’s job is to sit in on the meeting between you, listen to what the both of you have to say and help you effectively reach a reasonable resolution.
Generally, during these meetings, you and your adjuster share your side with the mediator in each other’s presence. Then, you talk together as the mediator simply observes and helps facilitate the interaction. Next, you each talk with the mediator privately to share your side. Finally, the mediator can now attempt to help you come to an agreement suitable for both your needs. If you still cannot come to an agreement, the meeting simply ends and your case resumes the same track it was on previously.
Who Can Mediate My Claim?
The cheapest option is to hire a mediator from a local community or neighborhood dispute resolution center. These mediators are usually volunteers with experience in dispute resolution, but they lack legal experience and are not professional mediators. Most of them also do not have experience in dealing with personal injury cases or insurance companies.
Professional mediators are more of an investment, but these mediators are often lawyers or retired judges with legal experience. Many of them are also familiar with dealing with insurance companies and handling personal injury claims.
Independent mediators are the priciest option and are often practicing lawyers, retired lawyers or retired judges. These mediators also have a professional legal background and often have experience with insurance companies and personal injury cases.
Should I Hire A Mediator?
Mediation might be a worthwhile investment if you and your adjuster are at an impasse and your settlement negotiations are over $2,000 apart from one another’s. A mediator can also help if the main cause of your stalemate is how much each party is at fault for the accident and how extensive your resulting injuries were. If you feel that you have no other option besides taking your case to court, you can try a mediator first as it is often a cheaper, more efficient way of settling your dispute than going to court.
The Pros and Cons of Mediation
There are, of course, certain pros and cons to hiring a mediator. On the downside, it can be a hefty investment depending on who you hire. You may also be unable to find a community dispute center or a mediator in your area who has personal injury lawsuit experience. It can also be difficult to arrange a meeting since this means your insurance adjuster has to take the time to come meet with you face to face.
On the upside, meeting with your insurance adjuster allows them to see you as a person, rather than just a voice over the phone or a file on their desk. This can make them more flexible with their terms and come to an agreement more in your favor. You do not need any extra documents other than those you already have on file for your claim, and settling your dispute via mediation rather than court can be cheaper, more efficient and less stressful.
Contact A Knoxville Personal Injury Lawyer
If you believe that hiring a mediator might be the best option for you, contact an experienced Knoxville personal injury lawyer from McMahan Law Firm.