Dealing with a dispute?

In both business and personal matters, sometimes people can agree, but more often, they cannot. When these disagreements revolve around money, valuable assets, or impactful arrangements, then you may want to consider mediation.

What is mediation, you ask? Read on for the rundown!

Situations That Call for Mediation

Does your situation call for a mediator? Often mediation occurs in neighborhood justice centers, and family, small claims, and criminal courts.

However, in many cases, you can contact a mediator to avoid court altogether. Situations where you may want to seek a mediator include:

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Contract Disputes
  • Tax Disputes

Any time you and another party seem to carry different views of rights, ownership, or law, you should consider hiring a mediator.

What Is Mediation?

Mediation refers to an informal alternative to litigation. The process occurs in a private and confidential setting that offers a more amicable approach than court.

The mediator serves as a neutral party in the matter. They do not pass any judgment, decide the end result, or force the parties into agreement. 

The mediator’s role involves creating a safe and productive atmosphere for both parties. Though this person will not interfere with the outcome, they will ensure both parties get a fair chance to speak without interruption.

If the session turns unproductive or hostile, the mediator will step up to diffuse the situation and redirect the focus to finding a solution.

The Mediation Process

You do not typically walk into mediation and solve your qualms instantly. This process typically happens through multiple sessions.

Sometimes a judge mandates it, and the court sets it up. If you avoided court, then you or somebody from another party contacts a private mediator.

Once the first visit is scheduled, you can expect the following.

Joint Session

Your first meeting with the mediator should include all parties involved in the dispute. This session helps everybody understand the situation from all angles.

It begins with an explanation of how the mediation process will work and lays ground rules that everybody needs to follow.  In this session, the mediator will allow each party to speak about the way they see the situation and the solution they want. They will help them clearly define the issues and create an agenda for moving forward.

The separate Caucasus

After the initial meeting, disputing parties will generally deal with the mediator in separate caucuses. During this time, the mediator will serve as a middle man to relay messages involving new proposals, offers, counteroffers, demands, questions, and clarifications.

Mediation Agreement 

At the closing of this process, hopefully, the parties find enough common ground to reach an agreement. When this happens, the mediator will write out a mediation contract.

Both parties will receive a copy to read over. Read every word carefully, so you know exactly what you are agreeing to, as this seals the deal.

If both parties agree, they sign and exit the mediation process with a contract to follow. If you cannot reach an agreement, then mediation ends, and you or the other party may seek arbitration.

Do I need a Lawyer?

Some people choose to navigate the mediation process alone for the sake of saving money. However, you may want to hire a lawyer to consult throughout the process. Once both parties sign the mediation agreement, the contract becomes legally binding.

Benefits of Mediation Resolution

A number of courts exist to settle disputes. Why choose mediation?

Consider these benefits!

Peace

Taking somebody to court always creates hostility on some level. Asking them to join you in mediation extends them the courtesy of trying to solve a dispute with you rather than showing them you will fight for your way. This helps maintain peace between family, friends, neighbors, and business partners.

Control

The minute you walk into a courtroom, you hand overall control over the situation. The judge assumes authority, and you cannot take it back.

In court, somebody else will hear you both out and then decide on a solution they find fair. Mediation allows you to keep all control within the parties. Together you get to decide your fate.

Free Will

You enter into mediation by voluntary action. Nobody can force you to remain in a single session if you feel overwhelmed, and they cannot make you follow through with the process if you change your mind. But, understand that backing out can potentially result in a mandated court process.

Time

Court times get decided for you. When you do not show up, it can impact the decision against your favor.

With mediation, you get to agree upon a time that works for everybody. Plus, the mediator will not leave you waiting, the way it often happens in court.

The court’s deliberation process often moves slowly. They may schedule sessions weeks or even months apart. 

This can mean that you will not see a solution in the near future. But, mediation can help you settle your dispute quickly.

Cost

Time is money. So spending less time in this process means spending less cask overall.

The court can hit you with unexpected legal fees and needing your attorney throughout the entire process will add up. With mediation, you will pay your mediator for their time at a rate you know upfront. Since you will only need to contact your attorney for brief matters, those fees will stay manageable.

Confidentiality

When you choose mediation, the counselor cannot ever discuss your case with an outside party unless granted special permission by everybody involved. You can speak freely within the guidelines, and your business remains there.

A courtroom often opens its doors to the public. Everything you say goes onto the official record and can be used against you.

Settle Your Disputes Civilly

What is mediation? It is a means to settle your disputes civilly and find a solution that works for everybody. This saves you valuable resources and preserves important relationships.

Whether you need a lawyer to read over your meditation agreement or somebody to help you take it to the next level when you cannot come to a fair solution, we can help. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

If you were involved in a motorcycle accident yesterday, then you might be confused as to what next steps that you need to take.

You might be surprised to find out that the things you do immediately after a crash will dictate the case that you’re trying to build. Whether you were the one at fault or not, you must take the time to undergo each step for your health and your livelihood.

See below for several things that you need to do if you had a motorcycle accident yesterday or have just gone through one. Be sure to follow each step to a “T”.

1. Get Medical Treatment

No matter how significant or minor the motorcycle accident was, you’re bound to have experienced some injuries along the way.

You might think that you’ve only received minor cuts and bruises, but some long-term effects might rear their ugly head down the line.

For that reason alone, it’s always important to seek treatment from a medical professional after the crash. If you haven’t already done so, then drop everything and visit a hospital right away.

While you might not realize it, putting off medical treatment for your injuries can have a detrimental effect on the case that you’re trying to build. The opposition will use it to try and claim that your injuries aren’t as significant as you claim them to be.

Seeking medical treatment will also give you evidence for your case. A doctor will provide you with documentation that lists all your injuries, methods of treatment, costs, and so on that, you can use to reach a settlement with the other side.

2. Hire an Attorney

If you went through a motorcycle accident yesterday, then you will want to hire a trusted personal injury attorney right away.

Many people make the mistake of choosing to represent themselves in a settlement or trial. That’s setting yourself up for a fight that you can’t possibly hope to win.

Odds are that your opposition will hire an attorney to protect them. If so, then you’re putting yourself up against someone who is educated, trained, and experienced in every measure of a personal injury case.

For future reference, you will want to reach out to an attorney either while you’re at the scene of the accident or immediately after you leave it. However, it’s never too late to reach out to one, even if it’s been a few days since the accident.

Hiring an attorney will give you a trusted source throughout the process. They’ll be able to explain every step of the process to you and the steps that you need to take to get the compensation that you’re looking for.

They can also help you gain more evidence through their network. They can find the police report from the accident, contact witnesses, meet with local scientists to give a testimony, and so forth.

3. Do Not Fix the Damage

While this might seem like an awkward thing to do, it’s vitally important for your case that you do not repair, replace, or throw away any damaged items from the motorcycle crash.

This could be things such as a damaged bike helmet, your motorcycle, your motorcycle jacket, and so on. Any item with damage on it can be used as evidence and will be difficult for the opposition to spin in their favor.

If your motorcycle is too damaged to make it operable and was your only means of transportation, then try organizing a different way of commuting for the time being.

If the motorcycle is still operational with the damage, consult with your attorney to see if they recommend you do so or not. You never know if riding on it could affect your case or not.

As painful as it might be, store the damaged equipment away for safekeeping. Make sure they’re in a place where the items aren’t readily accessible to you or anyone else.

4. Take Notes of the Accident

While you might be able to remember every little detail of the accident today, you will start to remember less and less as the days and weeks roll on. Your mind will try to blackout any traumatic moments from your memory.

However, those details are what’s going to help your case. You can’t afford to forget them.

For that reason, you must pull out the notes app on your phone and jot down as many details as you can about the accident. How many parties were involved? What kind of cars were they driving? What injuries did you sustain?

That way, when you meet with your lawyer to go over your side of the story, you can pull out the notes app to jog your memory. From there, you can provide more detail.

You’ll also want to gather all of the evidence you grabbed from the accident yesterday such as photos, contact information for witnesses, the other person’s insurance information, and so on. All of this can be used to build your case with your attorney leading the way.

Take All of These Steps After Your Motorcycle Accident Yesterday

Now that you’ve seen all the best steps that you need to take after your motorcycle accident yesterday, it’s important that you do so. The longer you wait, the more it will damage your case.

Be sure to visit this page to learn more answers to frequently asked questions about reaching out to an injury law attorney.

For more information, please be sure to reach out to us by filling out the online form on our contact us page. We’ll be happy to assist you further.

There is an average of 6 million car accidents per year in the United States and the cost of an accident is getting higher.

In fact, one recent study found that the severity of auto accident injuries is on a downward trend. Yet, the study reports, the related medical costs are rising at a higher rate than inflation.

In the aftermath of an auto accident, you’ve got a lot on your mind. One of the things you should take into consideration is whether you could benefit from hiring an auto accident lawyer.

Read on for 7 clear signs that you should hire an auto accident lawyer and file a personal injury claim today.

1. The Accident Resulted in Serious Injuries

The most important reason to seek out legal representation after an auto accident is if the accident resulted in serious injuries. There are a number of auto accident injuries that can result in sustained or permanent disability.

Serious injuries include injuries to the back, neck, and head. Spinal injuries and brain damage, in particular, should result in a personal injury claim. These kinds of injuries will cause a permanent shift in your ability to work and will also result in long-term medical care.

Moderate injuries may also be grounds for a personal injury claim if any of the following reasons also apply.

2. The Other Driver was Distracted

Personal injury claims are filed and fought on the grounds of negligence. If the other driver that was involved in the accident either struck your vehicle or drove in a manner that caused you to strike theirs, this is likely the result of their negligence.

One of the most common forms of negligence we see on the road today is texting while driving. Negligent or distracted driving can also be caused by interacting with a passenger, operating the radio, or doing anything that took the driver’s eyes (or mind) off the road.

3. You Are Unable to Work

When seeking compensation, medical bills are not the only factor in question. Lost income is also considered a valid part of a personal injury claim.

In other words, if your injury resulted in lost work hours, you are eligible to receive compensation for your lost income. This same standard also applies if your injury resulted in limited work duties that affected your pay.

4. Multiple Cars Were Involved

If you’re going to file a personal injury claim for an auto accident involving multiple drivers, it is imperative that you have an auto accident lawyer. Why?

Insurance companies do whatever they can to avoid large payouts, especially if multiple victims are involved. They may try to argue that you were equally responsible for the accident or split compensation between you and another victim. Having an auto accident lawyer will greatly increase the odds that you will receive full compensation after an accident involving multiple drivers.

5. The Other Driver Is Uninsured

When the driver responsible for your accident is uninsured, the personal injury claim process becomes tricky. Normally, it is the insurance company of the responsible driver who provides compensation. Without this guarantee, it can be harder to receive the compensation you deserve, especially if the other driver simply doesn’t have that much money to spare.

You may have uninsured motorist protection through your own insurance company. However, you may still need to work with an auto accident lawyer to prevent your insurance company from successfully arguing that the accident was your own fault.

6. Your Vehicle Is Totaled

Just like you can receive compensation for lost income, you can receive compensation for the damages done to your car. However, this tends to apply in cases where the car is totaled or damaged beyond a quick and affordable fix.

What that means is that you may still be able to file a property damage claim against another driver even if you have not sustained any injuries.

Most of the time, property damage claims go well. However, it is possible for an insurance adjuster to lie or twist the sequence of events to lower the amount of money you are owed. If this occurs, you will want to work with legal representation.

7. The Insurance Company Is Giving You Trouble

Oftentimes, if there is an issue with your personal injury claim it is because the defendant’s insurance company is causing trouble. There are a few signs to look out for when dealing with someone else’s insurance company.

The first is that they request to see your entire medical history. When this occurs, it is because they are hoping to find evidence of a pre-existing condition that could be the real source of your injury. Do not sign over any of your medical documents without having an attorney look over the agreement first.

The second is that they are pushing you to get a follow-up medical exam with a doctor of their choosing. This isn’t uncommon but be wary if that doctor underestimates the extent of your injuries.

The third is that they try to push you into an early settlement. They may threaten that you will receive nothing at all if you don’t accept a meager amount early on in the claims process.

These are just a few of the signs that an insurance company is trying to swindle you out of your due compensation. If you feel like you are being treated unfairly, contact an auto accident lawyer.

Where to Find an Auto Accident Lawyer in Tulsa

Auto accidents are disruptive and damaging. Whether they cause sustained injuries, property damage, or lost income, you should consider filing a claim. To do so, you’re going to need an auto accident lawyer.

The Barkett Law Firm is proud to have a winning record when it comes to auto accident cases in Tulsa. To begin a consultation, contact us today.