Serious Injury and mediation?
When a person is seriously injured, such as in a car accident, a semi tractor-trailer accident or a drunk driving accident, as a result of another person’s failure to be careful, we all know that the harmed person has the right to ask the person who caused their injuries to make up for all the harm they caused. In any of these claims, the Courts have developed a method to try and help the two sides come to an agreement about how to make up for the harm. The Court calls this “Alternative Dispute Resolution”. It is called this because it is seen as an alternative to a trial. It is not a replacement for a trial. A jury trial is a constitutional right just as important as the right to free speech, freedom of religion or the right to bear arms. No, alternative dispute resolution is simply a tool to help seriously injured Hoosiers to settle their claim.
One example of this is a mediation. A mediation is a nonbinding method of bringing the parties together to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the case. This is done with the help of an independent mediator. A mediator is a person who is trained in the techniques of compromise. The mediator is agreed to by the parties. The mediator is nonbiased. The mediator is paid by the parties equally and is paid whether the case settles or not. The mediator cannot force either party to settle their claim. The mediator listens. The mediator views the strengths and the weaknesses of both sides of the claim and helps the parties discuss those strengths and weaknesses. The mediator guarantees that whatever is told to the mediator, in confidence, remains confidential. Whatever is said in the mediation is confidential, meaning that it cannot be used in the trial if the case does not settle. The parties are not bound by the settlement numbers they express if the case does not settle. This means they are not limited to that amount in the trial if the case does not settle.
The process takes anywhere from a few hours to a full day, depending on how complicated the issues are.