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How Mediation Can Help Insurers and Claimants Resolve Their Dispute

Fri Aug 17th, 2018 on     Disability Insurance,    

In Florida, and throughout the country, mediation of complex insurance disputes (whether a disability insurance dispute, health insurance dispute, or otherwise) is a common strategic option employed to resolve the conflict before litigation.  Through the mediation process, the involved parties — insurer and policyholder — can negotiate a favorable settlement that satisfies their expectations while avoiding the hassles and difficulties typically associated with insurance litigation.

Litigation May Be Fraught With Difficulties

Litigation can be somewhat risky for many plaintiffs, whether in the insurance context or otherwise.  Going through with trial litigation can be time-consuming, expensive, emotionally frustrating, and uncertain.  For example, if you have suffered a disabling injury and are unable to return to work, then the prospect of litigation — and the possibility of a long and demanding trial process — may be undesirable.

Generally speaking, insurance policyholders hope to secure benefits within a reasonable timeframe.  Litigation not only extends that period, but may expose the policyholder (and their insurance dispute) to public criticism, thus damaging other aspects of their life.  Thus, where possible, a negotiated settlement is usually preferred.

How Mediation Can Lead to a Favorable Settlement

Litigation is fundamentally hostile — each side is arrayed against the other, constantly seeking an advantage.  By contrast, mediation is a voluntary process where the disputing parties attempt to negotiate a settlement compromise in a more collaborative environment.  During a mediation, a neutral third-party mediator is selected.  The mediator will hear out the arguments presented by each party (in a less formal environment), and will then present their understanding of the situation in the hopes that a compromise can be reached.

Mediation has a number of advantages.

Cost-Efficient

Mediation takes place over a short period of time.  In fact, the mediation process (in its entirety) may only require a single day, so any expenditures are fundamentally limited by the timeframe involved.  Further, costs are lower due to the informality of mediation process.  Parties are not expected to introduce expert witnesses or make long-winded evidentiary arguments.

Private

While litigation is public, mediation is private.  All information shared during a mediation session is subject to non-disclosure prohibitions.  This helps encourage parties to reveal sensitive information during mediation (that may lead to a successful resolution).  If the mediation fails, information exchanged during mediation cannot be introduced at trial later on.

Resolution is Non-Binding

In the event that mediation does not go as expected, you can simply move forward with litigation — the conclusions reached by the mediator need not be accepted by either side.

Certainty

By negotiating a settlement, you can guarantee at least some compensation.  In litigation, the outcome is not always certain.  If you have a severe disability or health expenses, it may be strategically worthwhile to consider a negotiated settlement that will ensure that you receive some compensation.

Contact Our Miami Insurance Law Firm to Speak to an Experienced Attorney

If you have submitted a claim for insurance benefits and have had your claim wrongfully denied, delayed, or otherwise mishandled, then you may be entitled to challenge the adverse determination and — if an early resolution is not reached — to bring a civil action against the insurer for damages.  Depending on the circumstances surrounding the adverse determination at-issue, and on the willingness of the defendant to cooperate through mediation, it may be possible to negotiate a favorable settlement.

Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin, P.A. is a Miami insurance law firm whose attorneys have over two decades of experience representing the interests of policyholders in a wide range of insurance disputes — we understand the contours of an insurance dispute, and how best to proceed so as to negotiate a settlement on your behalf.

Unlike many other insurance firms, we are committed to our clients, and to the provision of comprehensive legal advocacy.  We believe that effective representation demands transparent communication between attorney and client, and to that end, we keep clients fully apprised of case developments.  This approach has helped us secure substantial verdicts and settlements for our clients.

Call (305) 577-3996 or submit an online form today to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney here at Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin, P.A.

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