What are personal injury claims?
Personal injury claims are legal claims brought when someone has been injured in an accident that was another person’s fault. By bringing a personal injury claim, the injured person (ie the claimant) seeks to recover compensation from the party responsible for their injury (ie the defendant). Often, any compensation awarded to the claimant is paid by the defendant’s insurance provider.
Common types of personal injury claims include:
road traffic accidents (normally covered by the defendant’s third-party motor insurance)
workplace accidents (normally covered by the defendant’s employer’s liability insurance)
accidents on public property or on business premises (normally covered by the defendant’s public liability insurance)
Someone can typically bring a personal injury claim if:
they were injured within the last 3 years
their injury was caused (wholly or partly) by another person, and
the injury caused them physical and financial suffering
What is mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) which aims to resolve disputes without needing to get the courts involved. Mediation involves a neutral party (known as a ‘mediator’) assisting the other parties in negotiating and settling their dispute. When undergoing mediation, the parties remain in control of whether or not they reach a settlement (and on what terms).
Mediation is typically voluntary and offers a flexible way to resolve disputes.
Why choose mediation for personal injury claims?
Not only does mediation offer flexibility, it also makes reaching a resolution less arduous than when a resolution is reached by making a court claim.
When engaging in mediation, a claimant will no longer have to satisfy the requirements of an antiquated legal system through demanding court proceedings, which very often add to the claimant’s stresses. Instead, mediation services allow the claimant to reach a fair settlement flexibly that gives them the ability to carry on living comfortably after their losses. All of this will happen without them having to bring their case in front of a judge.
Mediation is focused on the individual claimant, their needs and their loss post-injury. The human element to the service gives the defendant a chance to apologise for their actions - something that they may not necessarily be given the time or opportunity to do in court. This can be very beneficial for the claimant and their psychological and mental recovery.
Rather than gathering numerous people together - from lawyers to medical professionals to witnesses - for a lengthy and expensive trial, mediation requires a far smaller number of relevant parties. This helps to significantly reduce both costs and the time taken to settle a case. When taking advantage of mediation services, claimants are able to choose a mediator who is suited not only to their unique claim but also to their budget.
By replacing traditional court trials with mediation - or, at the least, respecting mediation as a viable alternative in personal injury law - cases can be settled within shorter timescales and with reduced costs. The claimant’s and the defendant’s solicitors are also able to work towards a common goal of rehabilitation and compensation via an interactive process, with the help of a neutral third party.
In essence, the use of mediation in personal injury law is a key alternative to court trials. Costs alone are a driving factor for many claimants, and with a whole host of benefits alongside reduced costs, the use of mediation in the personal injury sector is likely to increase in the coming years.
If you have a personal injury case that you need to pursue, you can Ask a lawyer for advice regarding your situation. For more information on resolving legal disputes outside of court, read Alternative dispute resolution and Mediation.