What is Mediation?
- April 30, 2014
- Personal Injury
When you become involved in a personal injury case it is possible that you will be involved in mediation, or alternative dispute resolution. Mediation will most likely be the last step in your case before it goes to trial.
Mediation is an informal process between you and the other party involved in your case. The process takes place in a neutral location and not in a courtroom, and is heard by a mediator. A mediator is an impartial 3rd party who will hear both sides of the case. Generally, mediators are attorneys who have been trained extensively in alternative dispute resolution.
The mediator will go over the mediation process with each side. Each party will be present with their attorney and they will give statements to the mediator regarding their side of the case. The insurance adjuster will also be present at the mediation. The mediator will then separate the parties and speak with each party and their attorney regarding the facts of the case. The mediator will begin settlement talks with the plaintiff first. The plaintiff and their personal injury attorney will come up with a settlement number that they see as fair. The mediator will then take that settlement to the opposing party and discuss the options with them. The mediator will then take any counter-offers back to the plaintiff. This process will continue until a reasonable settlement can be agreed upon between the parties.
If the parties agree upon a settlement there will be no need to proceed to trial. For plaintiffs who were injured in an accident, they are taking a big risk by going to trial. Trials can take weeks, and they are very expensive. As with any court case there is a chance that you could receive a settlement that is much lower than what was originally offered, or you could lose your case altogether. This is why mediation is a great option for plaintiffs so they can reach a reasonable settlement before they have to step into a courtroom. They will then be financially able to pay for medical expenses or funeral expenses and work on other issues in order to put their life back together.