More and more automobile collision claims are being resolved by mediation. Mediation is a process by which an impartial mediator assists two or more parties to reach a common goal. Mediation is used in a variety of contexts ranging from legal, commercial, diplomatic, workplace, community and family matters.
It’s a process that dates back to the times of ancient Greece and became more fully developed at the height of the Roman civilization. That’s how long it’s been around. What makes mediation such an effective process to endure the tests of time is that power, still rests in the parties. By power I mean the power to negotiate effectively without letting emotions or outside influences get in the way.
Mediation cuts to the chase. The number one reason why "battling it out in court" can be so ineffective is due to the time that is allowed to go through the motions of pre-trial, discovery and a very much later trial date. Mediation puts all that aside and doesn’t concern issues like fault, negligence, evidence or procedure. It simply presents the opportunity for parties to resolve their differences immediately so that the time, stress and money of litigation can be saved.
Another perk is confidentiality. In most states judgments are of public record and these days can be viewed online. So in many cases, like for instance custody battles, people would want such matters kept private and rightfully so.
"So what should I expect at mediation?" Well as one attorney put it:
Many times, the mediation will begin with all parties and their attorneys together in one room, with the mediator directing general discussions about issues in the case. Then the parties may break up, with the plaintiffs and their attorneys in one room, and the defendant and their attorneys in a different room. The mediator will travel back and forth between the rooms, conveying offers and counter-offers. The mediator may also provide helpful or commentary and suggestions but the parties are not required to follow these suggestions.
Because it is non-binding, parties often approach the situation in a much more calm and less "guarded" manner which more often than not equates to an amicable agreement.