Differences Between Mediation and Settlement in a Pennsylvania Injury Case
As a victim, it is important to know what to expect when filing a lawsuit in Pennsylvania. If you recently sued a negligent party for compensation and they want to enter mediation or settlement negotiations, what does that mean for you?
Handling a case out of court through mediation or settlement negotiations might initially seem appealing to injury victims in Pennsylvania. Mediation involves a mediator who aims to facilitate negotiations between a defendant and a plaintiff. Settlements do not involve a mediator, and discussions are solely between involved parties. Unfortunately, both mediation and settlements require concessions on behalf of victims. The alternative to this is going to trial so that you have a greater chance of recovering total compensation for all financial and non-financial losses caused by a negligent party in Pennsylvania.
Our lawyers are dedicated to helping victims recover the compensatory damages they deserve. For a free case evaluation with the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm, call today at (215) 709-6940.
How Do Mediation and Settlements Differ in Pennsylvania Injury Cases?
When you file a personal injury case against a negligent party in Pennsylvania, your goal is to recover compensation. You may have heard of certain terms, like mediation and settlement, when deciding to file a lawsuit. But what do these terms mean, and how do they factor into your injury case in Pennsylvania?
Mediation is a process through which a settlement can be reached in a personal injury case in Pennsylvania. During mediation, both parties will be joined by an objective third party – a “mediator.” At first, victims might think this is similar to going to trial, but that’s not the case. A mediator is not acting in place of a judge or jury to decide whether a defendant acted negligently. Instead, a mediator facilitates settlement negotiations between a defendant and a plaintiff. Mediation often results in a compromise, with a negligent party offering some money and a victim accepting that amount to avoid trial.
A mediator’s goal is to settle a lawsuit between parties without having to go to trial. For injury victims, this might seem appealing at first. However, mediation may not result in a fair agreement for you, as a defendant will likely not cover all damages you incurred from an accident in Pennsylvania. If that happens, you are under no obligation to accept the terms and can always walk away from mediation – as can the other side. Because of this, our Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys generally advise against mediation and encourage victims to go to court.
A settlement is an agreement between a victim and a negligent party. Instead of taking a case to trial, some victims might be interested in settling out of court. Traditional settlement negotiations only involve a victim, a defendant, and their lawyers. Settlement negotiations can be lengthy and often begin with a defendant making an offer, followed by a plaintiff’s counteroffer. This back and forth might take months and, in some cases, years. While an alternative to going to trial, engaging in settlement discussions might be fruitless, especially if a defendant is unwilling to pay a victim the amount they are entitled to.
After an accident, victims may incur expensive medical bills and detrimental lost wages. On top of these damages, victims may also experience severe pain and suffering due to a negligent party. Settlement agreements rarely compensate victims for all the damages they have incurred because of a defendant’s negligence in Pennsylvania.
Is There an Alternative to Mediation and Settlements in Injury Cases in Pennsylvania?
When deciding the best course of action to take in an injury case, turn to our lawyers. Our Montgomery County personal injury attorneys can help you explore paths other than mediation or settling so that you recover the compensation you deserve against a negligent party.
Mediation and settling are not your only options as an injury victim in Pennsylvania. Instead of accepting an offer or settlement amount that doesn’t cover all of your financial and emotional damages, consider going to trial. Our lawyers are experienced in taking personal injury claims to court and helping victims recover what they deserve.
At first, going to court might seem daunting to victims, which is understandable. However, if there is ample evidence of a defendant’s negligence, taking your case before a judge or jury may result in greater compensation for you. Both parties must agree on compensation in mediation and settlements. Whether a mediator is involved or not, the result may be unfair to victims. The alternative is going to trial so that you can recover the greatest compensation available in your personal injury case in Pennsylvania.
Can You End Mediation or Settlement Negotiations for Your Injury Case in Pennsylvania?
If you are unsatisfied with the process of mediation or settlement negotiations, there is no need to continue. Instead, our attorneys can take your case to court so that you can successfully hold a negligent party accountable.
If you first decide to enter into mediation or settlement negotiations, you might feel stuck. Defendants rarely want to pay victims what they deserve, even with a mediator present. Mediation isn’t binding unless an agreement is reached and signed. The same can be said for settlement negotiations. This means you can withdraw from mediation or settlement negotiations at any time if you feel the process is not progressing.
In that case, victims should call our Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys. Our lawyers can help you change gears and take your case to court, even if you have already explored mediation or settlement negotiations. It is important to note that you can’t go back once you accept an offer in mediation or a settlement. While you can choose to take your case to court before reaching an agreement, that might delay your access to compensation. To avoid any delays, choose to go to trial from the beginning so that you can recover the compensation you deserve.
Call Our Pennsylvania Attorneys About Your Injury Case Today
If you were recently injured by a negligent party and require compensation, our lawyers can help. For a free case evaluation with the Bucks County personal injury attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm, call today at (215) 709-6940.