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Mediation: The Alternate Method of Settlement in a Personal Injury Claim

As a means of settling disputes without either side having to endure the costs and considerable effort of a lawsuit, mediation is growing in popularity and even required in some jurisdictions in an effort to lower the amount of cases heard in court. Simply put, mediation is a meeting between the parties to a personal injury claim and a mediator in an effort to resolve the dispute without having it go to trial. Usually, a meeting to explore the possibility of mediation takes place after the written discovery is complete and a disposition has been taken from the injured party.

A mediator is most often someone who has been involved with personal injury claims for years, such as an experienced attorney or a retired judge, and the informal mediation hearing often takes place in a neutral location such as the mediator’s office. If it is mediation for one, the two parties usually agree on who the mediator will be. During the hearing, the mediator will explain the rules of mediation and remind each party that any settlement achieved at the mediation will remain strictly confidential as the law requires.

If the mediation will be decided by a panel instead of a single mediator, both sides will choose a mediator and then the two mediators will select the third mediator on the panel. Whether the hearing is conducted by a single mediator or a panel of mediators, both sides of the dispute gives their version early on during the mediation hearing. Then, the mediator(s) provide their opinion of the best way to resolve the dispute without going to trial and try to get the two sides to compromise with a settlement.

If both sides are able to reach an agreeable accommodation and a binding settlement is reached, they can avoid the considerable costs and effort of a trial in court. Generally, court rules stipulate that any agreement should be in writing and bear the signatures of the principal parties on either side of the dispute. However, if the parties in the dispute are unable to agree on a settlement, no one is legally bound to the results and the dispute will be litigated in a court trial.

Florida Personal Injury Office Locations

Main Office

Orlando Personal Injury Office:
3117 Edgewater Dr.
Orlando, FL 32804
Phone: 407-425-2000
Toll Free: 877-FL-INJURY
                 (877-354-6587)
Fax: 407-843-8274

Seminole County

Lake Mary Office:
1001 Heathrow Park Lane
Suite 4001
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Phone: 407-487-4408

Osceola County

Kissimmee Office:
17 S. Orlando Ave.
Kissimmee, FL 34741
Phone: 407-966-4408

Volusia County

Daytona Beach Office:
1301 Beville Rd., Suite 8
Daytona Beach, FL 32119
Phone: 386-243-4994

DeBary Office:
465 Summerhaven Drive, Suite C
DeBary, FL 32713
Phone: 386-320-3911

Deland Office:
Downtown Executive Center
120 South Woodland Blvd.
Deland, FL 32720
Phone: 386-206-1264

Citrus County

Inverness Office:
110 North Apopka Ave.
Inverness, FL 34453
Phone: 352-205-4341

Polk County

Lakeland Office:
1102 S. Florida Ave., Suite 104
Lakeland, FL 33803
Phone: 863-968-7551

Winter Haven Office:
325 Avenue A, N.W.
Winter Haven, FL 33881
Phone: 863-968-7173

Hillsborough County

Tampa Office:
100 S. Edison St. Suite D
Tampa, FL 33606
Phone: 813-355-9772

Marion-Sumter Counties

The Villages Office:
3420 U.S. Hwy. 27/441
Fruitland Park, FL 34731
Phone: 352-419-0825

Lake County

Mt. Dora Office:
602 East 5th Ave.
Mt. Dora, FL 32757
Phone: 352-436-4696

Clermont Office:
900 W. Highway 50
Clermont, FL 34711
Phone: 352-503-4674

Brevard County

Titusville Office:
506 S. Palm Ave.
Titusville, FL 32780
Phone: 321-222-7300

Cocoa Office:
96 Willard Street
Suite 206,
Cocoa, FL 32922
Phone: 321-757-1373