Mediation is a growing trend that helps two parties come together and agree to a settlement. It can be particularly beneficial in personal injury cases. Mediation is a good step to take after the injured party has filed a claim, but before they have went to court. Calgary injury lawyers can help you in this step of your claim.
Mediation is an informal process. Neither side has to fear that what they say will be used against them in the event that the dispute proceeds to small claims court. A mediator is a neutral third party that listens to each side and tries to help both parties involved come to a mutual agreement. First, they speak to one side in the presence of the other. Then both sides communicate directly with one another in the mediator’s presence. Finally, the mediator speaks privately to each side. After this, the mediator tries to help each side come together.
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The process is entirely voluntary. Both sides have to agree to the mediation, and both sides have to agree to any settlement. The cost of mediation is typically split equally between the two parties. There are three main sources for finding a mediator: community dispute center, Calgary professional mediation services, or an independent mediator. Costs can greatly vary depending on the mediation service chosen.
Community dispute centers are small centers run and staffed by volunteers. The volunteers usually don’t have much legal experience. The trade-off is that the fees are usually minimal or nonexistent. These centers are more appropriate for disputes with neighbors or a local small business.
Professional mediation services are companies run by former lawyers and judges. They typically charge much higher fees. These services are better for dealing with larger companies and business.
Independent mediators are former lawyers and professionals. The hourly fees can be hundreds of dollars, but these people tend to have more experience with personal injury cases in Calgary.
Mediation can allow the injured person to spend less money than if they went directly to court. It allows both sides to deal face to face. This extra energy and investment in time can help push both sides to come to an agreement sooner. On the other hand, this is more time that the injured party and insurance claim adjuster have to spend working on a claim. The fees can be expensive if using a professional, and community dispute centers may not have the experience necessary to facilitate an agreement.
Mediation is most beneficial if the parties are out of options short of going to court, they can’t agree on the degree of responsibility they play in the incident, or if they are more than $2,000 apart on their settlement amount. Mediation can be a way for personal injury victims to successfully put the incident behind them and get a settlement they can be happy with.