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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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What if truck accident settlement talks go nowhere?

For Wisconsin residents who find themselves dealing with a loss because of a car, motorcycle or 18-wheeler accident, there are some helpful options available. It may be overwhelming for some to contemplate the time, cost and personal involvement a lawsuit may require. Before just accepting what an insurance company offers, however, learning about other remedies might prove useful. Some cases are complex, especially if commercial trucking companies are involved. But since an insurance company's goal is to pay out the least amount possible, victims of seemingly straightforward claims can benefit from an evaluation of these options when negotiations with insurance adjusters aren't successful.

The Wisconsin State Legislature website sets forth the Alternative Dispute Resolution statutes for the state. In Section 802.12, various methods outside of trial parameters are defined. One that can be useful in personal injury cases is mediation.

Mediation is a voluntary, confidential process of talking out each party's position with the assistance of a neutral person. He or she only facilitates communication among everyone. Recommendations and advice from the mediator aren't allowed. Informal presentation of facts and conflicts to help all sides gain an understanding of where the others are coming from is the tool through which agreements can be reached.

There are several advantages and few disadvantages to this procedure. Many find the lack of public scrutiny a trial can entail to be less stressful. The mediation process, if successful, results in a contract that is binding as any written contract would be. The relative lawsuit is then ended. If a settlement agreement isn't reached, a trial can still take place. No discussions or evidence brought forward solely in the mediation can be submitted, however.

Source: Wisconsin State Legislature, "Alternative Dispute Resolution" accessed Jan. 22, 2015

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