Personal injury lawsuits very rarely make it to trial, largely due to successful mediations that resolve the lawsuits without the need for long and expensive courtroom battles. Mediation, in simple terms, is an informal settlement conference that involves both parties.
Here is what to expect in mediation for a personal injury case.
- Prior to mediation, lawyers will usually have a one-on-one meeting with their client to discuss the details and a bottom line settlement figure. This is an important aspect because the settlement figure should take into account lawyer fees, mediation costs, medical bills and other relevant expenses.
- The plaintiff, their lawyer, the defendant, the defendant’s lawyer and a representative from the defendant’s insurance company and the mediator will be present for the discussion.
- The mediator is another lawyer that has no connection to either party of the case and simply serves the role to facilitate constructive negotiations and remain unbiased.
- The mediator will be in charge of how the mediation will be conducted. Each side will usually provide the Mediator with a written summary of the case before the Mediation Conference. In most instances, each attorney will make a brief statement about the case at the outset of the Mediation Conference which includes the issues in dispute, and what each party expects to achieve from mediation.
- Next, each party will be separated as to discuss offers and counter-offers in private as the mediator goes between both parties bringing the offers.
- If the case is settled, there will be a document signed by both parties and their lawyers. This document is legally binding and can be enforced in court if breached by either side.
Key aspects of mediation:
Everything that is said during mediation is confidential and cannot be used in court. But the information in statements that were said can be.
That the mediator will remain impartial and only facilitate negotiations.
Compromise from both sides is necessary in order to reach a settlement.
Having a knowledgeable lawyer to represent you that has mediation experience is important for the process to go as favorable as possible. Contact Michael Weiss at the Blaut Weiss Law Group for a free consultation.