It becomes quite frustrating when an individual loses his/her personal property after a car accident. But settling your personal property damage claim through mediation can be a good way to resolve your disputes without going to court. Instead of a jury deciding who wins or loses, a selected mediator stands in the gap to facilitate the right settlement. If you have been involved in a car accident and want to recover your personal property damage, you may choose the mediation process. If you cannot reach an agreement, this doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road. You can still proceed to file a claim. However, understanding the basics of mediation when it comes to a car accident can go a long way toward getting the best compensation.
What Happens At Mediation In A Car Accident Case
When people hear of mediation, they think about issues related to divorce. While mediation is mostly used in such cases, it’s also quite embraced when it comes to settling personal property damage claims in auto accident. If you have been involved in a car accident and believe the other party to be at fault, you and the other party may seek the help of another neutral person to help you settle the dispute. This will help you avoid going to court. The fact is that you can’t force an insurance company to mediate. But this can be a good thing to try before heading to court. While a mediator is not to give you legal advice, the best way to ensure any agreement you reach is legally binding is to look for an experienced car accident attorney. After meditating, you can come up with:
- How much damage was caused
- The amount that you expect to be paid
This has to be put in writing. Remember that if the other party refuses to mediate, the process may not work. They will be acting in bad faith. When deciding on mediation, you and the other party may agree or, you can have the judge order the mediation. The judge can do so if he/she thinks mediation is an excellent way to help you resolve your case. Nowadays, the court is more inclined to allowing mediation in car accident cases that have been filed in court. As a plaintiff, there is no need to wait for this; you may choose to mediate from the word go. The only thing to keep in mind is:
- Select the right mediator: You want a mediator who is experienced in dealing with mediation of car accident claims. If not sure where to get one, you may consider seeking advice from a local courthouse. They may have records of the most successful mediators.
- Don’t waste your money on mediation unless the other party (the at-fault insurance company) has agreed to resolve the claim.
- Make sure that you don’t reach an agreement without the other party participation. You don’t want to waste your time with someone who doesn’t have a complete authority to solve the personal property dispute.
Having A Car Accident Lawyer In Your Mediation
Mediation for your property damage claim will work better if you have a lawyer with you. Each party should ensure to meet with their attorney to clarify goals. Other things one may consider may include:
- Have possible solutions by convincing the mediator that your position is right. You will be given a chance to give out your view about the car accident’s fault and the extent of damage on your personal property.
- Consider the issues you want to discuss and the reasons underlying your position on every issue
- Have in mind what you need for the other party to settle the dispute. As well as having your idea about how the case may be settled.
The lawyer is to give you legal advice by explaining your right and responsibilities. He/she will also help to evaluate the settlement option. A lawyer doesn’t need to attend the mediation as long as you can keep him/her updated. According to the Alaska court system mediation should be confidential. This means that parties should not reveal whatever they said in mediation since as it’s not admissible in court. With an experienced lawyer, they can answer any question you may have about confidentiality. When dealing with your personal property damage claim, remember that you may head to court if you don’t reach an agreement. Paying attention to the amount you spend in mediation could go a long way in ensuring your case push over in court within the right time. For a lawsuit concerning personal property damage, you should file the case within two years from the car accident date. If you fail to file your lawsuit within this time, the other party may have a chance to file a motion and request the court to dismiss your case. It’s only in rare circumstances can you win in such situations. Therefore, it’s better to have legal guidance if you have a personal property damage claim.