In the many stages of insurance litigation, mediation generally happens before trial. The judge often orders mediation to be held before heading to a trial. Alternatively, the parties can agree to mediate earlier without a court order.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is led by a neutral third-party (the mediator) who works with the disputing parties to reach an agreement. Important to note is that the mediator has no power to force the parties to settle. Rather, his or her goal is to work with the parties to find common ground. It is also essential to note that the mediation process is strictly confidential (what is said in mediation stays in mediation, absent several specific situations).
The benefits of mediation are that it adds structure to negotiations and a full settlement may be reached without going to trial, which, as you can image, takes time. Just getting on a judge’s calendar can be a painstakingly slow process, especially if cases are backlogged (and they usually are). In some instances, this lengthy delay can all be avoided if success (ie a settlement) is achieved during mediation.
How Does Mediation Work?
Mediation is held in a private, oftentimes neutral location. Both parties are usually present. After the mediator gives an opening statement and the rules and administrative processes have been discussed, the facilitated mediation will begin. Its length of time varies based on the case, though usually the session lasts two to five hours. In some instances, additional mediation sessions are needed.
If an agreement is reached during mediation, the case will no longer go to trial. Conversely, if there is no consensus, the next step will be to await the court date, which is dependent on the judge’s schedule.
At Silverberg | Brito, PLLC, we recognize how nerve-wracking the process of insurance litigation can be for our clients. But rest assured that our experienced team will be with you every step of the way. If you have questions or would like to schedule a free case evaluation, get in touch.