More often these days, personal injury cases in litigation eventually end up in mediation. What is “mediation”? Mediation is a process whereby a neutral person, agreed upon by the attorneys for the respective parties, acts as a go-between to attempt to bring opposing parties closer together in numbers to resolve a disputed claim.
The mediator is normally an attorney experienced in the subject matter being mediated, or even a retired judge. This occurs in a setting similar to a meeting. Usually, a mediator will sit down with both sides at the beginning to explain the process and get a better feel for the case. The parties are then separated into rooms where they can be comfortable and speak freely with their respective counsel.
The mediator will then essentially go back and forth between the rooms, relaying demands and offers of settlement. The goal is to get to some point where both parties can live with the result that the at-fault party is satisfied with what it is paying and the injured party is satisfied with what they are receiving in settlement. A settlement of a claim, as opposed to trial is often an attractive option for both parties.
Resolving a case brings closure to the conflict much sooner than a trial would. When a case is settled, the parties know what is being paid and what they are getting, guaranteed, rather than a chance at some unknown sum through trial, usually years in the future. Since settlement can usually be achieved much more economically than the costs of taking a case to trial, the injured party gets to pocket more of the recovery. Since the entire process is in the nature of settlement discussions, sometimes the parties can take the opportunity to get some things off of their chests, which can be beneficial for mental health.
There are benefits to utilizing a mediator to help parties settle a claim. Since he or she is neutral, the mediator can help the parties understand the respective strengths and weaknesses of their cases and this realization often helps the parties make better decisions. Another benefit of a mediated settlement is that the results are often confidential so that no one knows your business.
This is not the case when you get a verdict at trial. Even if a case does not settle at the mediation, the parties usually leave closer together such that they can later settle the case on their own. Mediation can be an important tool for bringing swifter and less expensive justice and closure to people injured in accidents, but not all cases can be mediated, nor do all cases require mediation. Your experienced personal injury attorney can help you decide if mediation is right for your case.
The legal aspects of personal injury claims can be challenging. We realize that the consequences of an accident can be far-reaching and may include lost income and medical expenses, as well as pain and suffering. You need an experienced and effective law firm to obtain the best result for your case. If you, a loved one or a friend has suffered injuries as a result of any type of accident, we can help get the maximum result for the claim, contact us online or at 724-225-9130.