There is no one “correct” way to handle a personal injury claim. Some individuals who file claims opt to settle if a settlement offer is fair. Others must vigorously litigate their claims in order to obtain the justice they deserve. And some individuals opt for an alternative dispute resolution approach. This approach allows plaintiffs and their attorneys to mediate or otherwise negotiate a claim outside of a courtroom setting.
Mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution may be embraced without the aid and guidance of an attorney. However, it is important to think very, very carefully before moving forward without professional legal assistance. The other party involved in your case will likely have retained an attorney and if you do not take advantage of an attorney’s experience and legal knowledge, you may wind up with an unfair settlement or without any compensation at all for the harm you have suffered.
If you and your attorney opt to take advantage of a mediation setting, your attorney will be with you and will be guiding you throughout the process. He or she will be able to explain any matters which may prove confusing and will be able to explain why any particular settlement offer is fair or unfair, reasonable or unreasonable given the circumstances at hand.
While a mediator will be able to explain generally why any given demands and offers may have certain pros and cons, a mediator is not empowered to advise you on what the best course of action is for you to take. Only an attorney is hired exclusively to advocate for you and your case alone.
Source: Findlaw Injured, “How Does Car Accident Mediation Work? Do You Need a Lawyer?” Le Trinh, March 6, 2015