Our Eau Claire attorneys use a variety of tools to help resolve your claims promptly and fairly. In many cases, we are able to do this by presenting your claims in a mediation.
A mediation is an informal process in which a neutral person, typically an attorney who is not involved in the case, facilitates settlement negotiations. This neutral person is known as the mediator.
Approximately one week before the mediation, your attorney and a representative of the insurance company will submit a detailed packet of information regarding the accident and your injuries to the mediator. You and and your attorney also will meet to discuss what you should expect to happen in the mediation.
When the date of the mediation arrives, you and your attorney will meet at the place designated for the mediation (typically the mediator’s office). Normally, the mediator will make sure that you and your attorney are made comfortable in a room where the two of you can talk privately; the insurance representatives will be seated in another room. The mediator then will go back and forth between the rooms, working with you, your attorney, and the insurance company representatives in an effort to reach a mutually acceptable settlement.
Mediation can occur before a suit is started if your attorney thinks this will help move settlement negations forward. In this part of the state, most judges require the parties to attempt to mediate their differences before any case will be allowed to go to trial. Many, but not all, cases that go to mediation do resolve successfully.
In addition to presenting their client’s cases at mediation, attorneys at Gingras, Thomsen & Wachs also act as mediators. They prefer to hold mediation sessions in their offices, as this is a completely neutral setting for all of the parties and attorneys involved. When conducting mediations, our attorneys follow the pattern for mediations outlined in this article.
Not all cases are decided before a judge or jury. For example some insurance policies and many business contracts require that any disputes about the contract be submitted to arbitration.
There are two broad categories of arbitration:
Arbitrations are typically held before either one arbitrator or a panel of three arbitrators. If only one arbitrator is used, all of the parties and attorneys involved must agree to use that arbitrator. If a panel of three arbitrators is used, each side picks one arbitrator. The two arbitrators then agree on a third, neutral arbitrator. Both methods of arbitration can be successful.
In addition to presenting cases before arbitration panels, attorneys at Gingras, Thomsen & Wachs act as arbitrators.