Answers to FAQs About Mediation in Florida Personal Injury Cases

Many Florida accident claims will be settled by agreement of the parties without going to court, while some must go through the litigation and trial process. Still other cases are in between these stages. The parties are close to settlement and have resolved some issues, but they remain apart in other disputes. In such a case, mediation may enter the picture. In fact, under Florida’s statute on mediation, you may be required to participate. 

The good news is that there are many benefits to mediation, because you have certainty knowing the outcome of the case. You also save time, since it is often possible to complete mediation within a day. Still, there are some factors to consider when conducting mediation, and a Miami personal injury lawyer can provide useful advice. Plus, you can review some answers to common questions about mediation in Florida accident claims.

Who will attend a mediation proceeding? The parties and their attorneys will be present, so your lawyer will be at the mediation along with counsel for the defendant. For an accident claim, the defendant will usually be an insurance company on behalf of the at-fault party. The insurer will have their own attorney as well.

A trained mediator will oversee the mediation, and this is a person who is certified under the Florida rules regarding qualifications for mediators.

What does the mediator do? The job of the mediation professional is to help the parties overcome their disputes, so they can resolve their outstanding claims instead of going to court. The mediator will encourage the parties to come together by seeing the case from the other’s viewpoint. Mediation aims to encourage productive discussions to settle your claim in a structured format.

What types of accident cases may go to mediation? The parties may participate in mediation related to a wide range of personal injury matters, including:

  • Auto accidents;
  • Crashes involving semis- 18-wheelers, and other large commercial trucks;
  • Pedestrian, bicycle, and motorcycle collisions;
  • Slip and falls, and other accidents that occur because of dangerous conditions on property;
  • Medical malpractice;
  • Dog bite claims;
  • Swimming pool and drowning cases; and,
  • Claims involving water parks and other attractions.

Is Florida mediation binding? No, you are not required to accept any findings in mediation because the mediator does not render decisions. The point is settlement, so if there is no agreement, the mediation will conclude. The rights of the parties remain intact, allowing them to head to court and litigate outstanding disputes. However, if you do reach an agreement, it is legally binding and can be enforced in court.

A Miami Personal Injury Attorney Will Provide Additional Details

These are helpful answers to common questions, but it is important to get the details about your case when you may be going to mediation after an accident. If you were hurt or lost a loved one, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA, to schedule a free case assessment at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL. You can speak to a personal injury lawyer by calling (305) 371-6000 or checking out our website.

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