A car accident lawyer in Saint Paul may need to use the mediation process to negotiate a better settlement for clients. Mediation is most commonly discussed in the realm of divorce law, but it is helpful for other negotiations as well.
In a personal injury car accident case, the plaintiff is the individual who has been hurt by someone else’s negligence or recklessness. The lawyer representing the plaintiff works to obtain a reasonable settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Sometimes the process is relatively easy, especially if the attorney representing the insurance company and the plaintiff’s lawyer know each other then they might be able to work out a settlement in one or two phone calls.
In other situations, the insurer will not agree to the level of compensation that the plaintiff and their lawyer believe is reasonable. Before bringing the case to trial, a car accident lawyer in Saint Paul is likely to arrange mediation sessions. Although there are some exceptions, Minnesota state law generally requires arbitration or mediation after a personal injury lawsuit is filed. Courts often have a substantial backlog of cases, and jurisdictions would just as soon have civil cases settled outside of court if at all possible.
Avoiding trial usually benefits the plaintiff as well. Although this person might receive a court award that is significantly higher than a settlement would be, the process takes a long time compared with mediation. In addition, going to trial poses the risk that a judge or jury might find in favor of the insurance company, in which situation the plaintiff might not receive any compensation at all.
During mediation, as arranged by a firm such as Rutzick Law Offices, an impartial mediator listens to both sides of the case and works to bring the two sides to an agreement. The mediator could be a lawyer or a judge who is not involved in the case. Both sides may need to compromise, with the insurer paying more than it would prefer to, and the plaintiff accepting a smaller amount than originally requested. Once the injured person has the check, they now can get on with life, catching up on bills and any other financial aspects that need attention.