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Mediation in Virginia Can Offer Benefits That Trial Doesn’t Afford

I pride myself in helping clients through their toughest times.- Bill O’Mara

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Mediation in Virginia Can Offer Benefits That Trial Doesn’t Afford

By Mike Snellings, Virginia Beach Injury Lawyer

I’m sometimes surprised that mediation is not more widely used throughout the personal injury field. Mediation is a way to resolve disputes that most people who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents do not truly understand and appreciate. At this point in my career, I feel fortunate that I have been able to participate and see all the great benefits of mediation. It brings together parties that are willing to work to find an agreeable settlement, sits them down, and lets them discuss the issues on which they disagree.

Mediation offers benefits

Unlike some other states, mediation is not mandatory in Virginia – it is wholly voluntary. Here are some benefits of mediation that you cannot achieve by electing to go to trial:

Less Risk / More Control

If you opt to go to trial, you roll the dice and run the risk of the jury awarding you something that you believe does not fully and fairly compensate you for your injuries. You are essentially leaving the result of your case in the hands of seven complete strangers when you embark on a jury trial. Mediation allows the parties to maintain control of the negotiations and, ultimately, the result of their case. If they are presented with an offer they do not think is fair, they do not have to accept.  

Less Cost

Litigation is an extremely expensive endeavor. Expert witnesses typically charge very high fees to testify in a particular case. If your case is complex and would require numerous experts across numerous fields, the bill can become steep. Mediation offers the parties a chance to reach a settlement on a more affordable  

Privacy / confidentiality

A benefit that is often overlooked when thinking about mediation is the privacy factor. If a case is successfully mediated, the parties can agree that the terms of the settlement are kept confidential. This is particularly important to plaintiffs – they may not want everyone in the community knowing that they were just awarded a significant sum of money.

Voluntary

The choice to mediate is solely up to the parties in a case. Similarly, the choice to accept or deny an offer belongs to the parties. If a party is unhappy with the best and final offer, there is nothing that says they must accept that offer. In their back pocket always resides “Option B”: trial. 

Hiring a team of personal injury attorneys experienced in both mediation and trial is crucial to getting the maximum recovery for your injuries. If you have been injured in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident or at a business, please call us at 757-455-0077. Our team would be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligation consultation.

 

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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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