Finding out that the insurance company won’t reimburse you fairly, on top of missing work and paying for medical care, can be extremely frustrating. After all, this injury is not even your fault. Before taking your case to court, which will undoubtedly be costly and time-consuming, you may want to try mediation.
What is mediation?
In Ohio, the at-fault party or their insurer must compensate injured parties. If they are uninsured, the injured individual may try to seek compensation from their insurance provider. However, because most insurance companies want to keep payments at a minimum, they will likely pay you lower than what you might expect.
After filing a personal injury case, a judge may advise the involved parties or the parties themselves can choose to participate in mediation. A neutral party, known as the mediator, will facilitate the discussion between the two sides in an attempt to find a solution without needing to go to trial.
What to expect from mediation
Both sides must agree on who will serve as the mediator. To avoid a conflict of interest, the mediator must be impartial to both sides.
Before the mediation process starts, all parties involved, including the attorneys, must sign a confidentiality agreement. This helps keep all information private and prevents either party from using it against the other in court.
Both sides then present their opening statements and any evidence, allowing the mediator to gain each side’s perspective and make an informed opinion. The insurance company may try to cast doubt on the severity of your injuries at this phase of the mediation to make you agree to a smaller settlement.
The mediator will then speak with each side individually to allow them to express themselves freely. They’ll ask you for the lowest figure you are willing to accept and evidence to support your claim. Meanwhile, when consulting with the insurance company, the mediator will determine their maximum payment and ask for supporting evidence why the settlement amount must be less.
Not all mediations are successful. However, the process often pushes parties to reconsider their positions. As a result, you have a better chance of obtaining a more significant settlement sum than if the case went to trial. If both parties want to settle the dispute quickly, seeking an unbiased and skilled mediator may help.