Before a case is taken to trial, it is common for a mediation to take place. This process involves the plaintiff and the defendant agreeing to use a third-party mediator in an effort to resolve a claim before going to trial. The main purpose of a mediation is to give the litigants an opportunity to reach a mutually agreeable settlement of their case.
What Should I Expect During Mediation?
Every mediation session is different, but a few factors do remain constant. In a two-party case, such as an injured party against the person who caused their injuries, there will typically be six people in the room. The injured person will be joined by your attorney. There will also be a third-party mediator, who is neutral and cannot decide the outcome of your case. There will also be the person who caused your injuries, their lawyer, and an insurance adjuster on behalf of the at-fault party’s insurance company. The mediation will start with an opening session where the lawyers on both sides tell their client’s side of the story. The parties will then go into separate rooms, and the mediator will facilitate negotiations and try to help the parties reach a mutually agreeable settlement.
A Mediator’s Purpose
A mediator, or neutral third party, will always be present to facilitate the process. The presence of a mediator will help both sides communicate and define possible solutions. During opening statements, the other party’s attorney will describe their side of the case. It is likely that you may disagree with some of their points, but be sure to take notes and keep a neutral presence.
Benefits of Mediation
Mediation can present several significant advantages that can help your case move towards a settlement:
- Due to the fact that mediation is often just a discussion between two parties with a mediator, it can cost less than taking a case to trial.
- This process presents the opportunity to discuss the situation with an impartial third party.
- Mediation allows each side to speak openly about issues that they feel the other side should consider.
- Coming to a resolution during mediation means that both parties have terms they can agree on, taking the guesswork out of what a jury or judge’s verdict would be.
- Mediations are confidential, giving the plaintiff and defendant a chance to negotiate and present numbers.
When determining whether mediation is right for your case, or what mediator is right for your case, be sure to consult with your personal injury attorney for advice on the matter.
Decisions made during mediation are serious and enforceable. Once an agreement has been made by both parties, it will be put into writing and signed by both parties. This written document becomes a contract which is enforceable under law.
Before mediation takes place, it is important to work with your personal injury attorney on ways to best prepare. This is important, as coming prepared and ready to listen can result in a favorable settlement of your case.
If you are an injury victim seeking justice, contact the experienced team at Matthews Injury Law by calling 813-530-1000 or 941-877-5800. Marc Matthews and his team are committed to enforcing personal injury justice and have the extensive verdict history to prove that commitment.