Car Accident – Go to Court vs Mediation

Mediation is the simplest form of dispute resolution that involves a third party. It is considered alternative dispute resolution because mediation and arbitration are alternatives to formal litigation. Car accident mediation is an option, both parties must agree to it. Neither party can force the other party to mediate. Down the road, after litigation has commenced, the court may force the parties to mediate before proceeding but this is not very common. Mediation is not binding on either party, it is simply an attempt to reconcile. With that in mind, you should not agree to mediate if you have no interest in settling your dispute amicably. You should also not agree to it if you believe that the other side has no interest in settling the dispute amicably. To do so would simply be a waste of money.

2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Car Review
Photo Credit: NRMA Motoring and Services

After both sides agree to mediation, the next step is to agree to a mediator. The two parties will split the fee to pay the mediator. Mediators are typically experienced attorneys or former judges. You will want one that understands personal injury law and has experience in the courtroom. That way, they would understand how the dispute might come out in court. That knowledge will give more weight to their recommendations and will give valuable insight to both parties.

When you arrive at your mediation, both parties will be allowed to explain their interpretation of the facts. Once both stories are fully out there so that all parties can understand what issues are in dispute, the mediator will begin to act as a facilitator to help the parties resolve those issues. Hearing the adverse side argue their case can be aggravating, when people get aggravated, they get irrational. Being irrational can be a huge barrier to resolving disputes in a mutually beneficial way. For that reason, the mediator may separate the parties into different rooms after explaining the facts. He or she can then bounce back and forth and point out each parties weaknesses in private in an attempt to get their ideas about the case closer to being in accord. It is important to remember that the mediator is not your judge. He or she has no vested interest in one side wining. They get paid no matter what. They are really just there to provide a neutral third party outlook and make recommendations.

There are definitely a few important tips to keep in mind while preparing for your mediation. The first to make sure that the opposing party brings their real decision maker. There is no point to spend time and money reaching a solution only to have the solution rejected by the decision maker. Who you choose as your mediator can also be very important. Most courthouses in Southern Utah will refer you to a trusted mediator if you call and ask. Some mediators are so effective that they can accomplish this is under an hour. That is why mediation can be a great resolution for a lot of disputes. Conflicts can be resolved quickly and cheaply. Formal litigation is far more expensive and time consuming.

This article is offered only for general information and educational purposes. It is not offered as and does not constitute legal advice or legal opinion. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this article without first seeking the advice of an attorney.