Although Florida courts may not require the parties in a personal injury or wrongful death case to engage in mediation, doing so could be an extremely helpful exercise. This is why so many Florida judges repeatedly advise parties in personal injury or wrongful death cases about the benefits of mediation and encourage them to give it a try in even the most complex and hard-fought cases.
Flexibility in controlling the timing of negotiations
It is not always helpful to wait until discovery has been completed to start engaging in meaningful settlement negotiations. Early settlement negotiations can help the parties get a more informed sense of what the ultimate issues will be at trial and how far apart they may be in terms of expectations for a workable resolution of the personal injury or wrongful death case.
In some cases, plaintiffs may greatly benefit from receiving a settlement amount years earlier than they would through traditional litigation. For those looking to put their lives back together after a tragic accident, early mediation helps to ease the financial burden. Defendants in personal injury or wrongful death cases also benefit from early dispute resolution because they do not have to waste time, money or resources in preparing for a trial. They may be willing to offer a higher settlement amount at the outset of litigation for the compromise of not having to spend as much money in mounting legal fees throughout a trial.
Private forum vs. open court
It is understandable that the parties in personal injury or wrongful death cases can become emotional in recounting the details of the case or discussing an acceptable settlement amount. The ability to work through these issues in the privacy of a mediation office instead of the open forum of a public courthouse can be easier for some parties in these difficult cases. The more relaxed atmosphere of mediation in personal injury or wrongful death cases can help the parties to focus on the most important issues, help remove some of the significant barriers to the parties reaching an agreeable settlement for their claims.
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Narrowing the focus of the issues in dispute
Mediation is an effective way to help focus the parties in personal injury or wrongful death cases on liability issues and actual damages sought. In preparing for a bench or jury trial, the parties and their attorneys often get sidetracked in considering how certain evidence will appeal to the emotional sensibilities of a judge or jury. This can ultimately distract from the parties working toward an acceptable settlement amount to resolve the case.
The parties are able to present all of the evidence and statements that they deem relevant in mediation for personal injury or wrongful death cases. The mediator will carefully consider all of the arguments and evidence presented to help guide the parties to a resolution that will avoid months or even years of expensive and exhausting litigation through the courts.
Any of the evidence presented or statements made by the parties or their attorneys during a mediation session for personal injury or wrongful death cases are completely confidential and cannot be used against either side if the case ends up going to trial. This is one of the many reasons mediation is such an effective dispute resolution process. The freedom to present statements early in the case without jeopardizing arguments or claims for later allows the parties to engage in more candid discussions about a settlement.
Flexibility in the format of settlement discussions
One benefit to working with mediator David S. Tupler is his experience and insight into effective mediation strategies. He understands that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a productive mediation. It may be beneficial in some cases to have the parties communicate only by using the mediator as an intermediary while they wait in separate rooms. On the other hand, some parties are able to engage in worthwhile discussions in the presence of a mediator and all litigants in the same room. Our firm can accommodate either of these scenarios, and everything in between.
Mediatior David S. Tupler is able to adapt his approach to the style that best suits the parties at hand. After all, the goal in every personal injury or wrongful death mediation case is to go above and beyond to facilitate productive discussions between the parties in the hopes of reaching a settlement agreement that works for everyone involved. As such, Mr. Tupler takes the time to listen intently to the parties and discern which approach to mediation will be most effective.
Call David S. Tupler, P.A. at (954) 383-6577 to book a mediation date for your personal injury or wrongful death case today. Initial consultations are always free.