If you or somebody you love sustains an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of another individual, business, or entity, you may be able to secure compensation for your losses. The process of recovering this compensation can be complicated.
Often, this involves settlements with insurance carriers. However, this could also involve a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Sometimes, a plaintiff and a defendant are asked to participate in personal injury mediation in an attempt to reach a settlement before a case goes to trial. Here, we want to discuss the mediation process.
What is Personal Injury Mediation?
Mediation is considered an alternative dispute resolution process where both sides can come together in a non-confrontational format in an attempt to reach a settlement before a trial becomes necessary. Personal injury mediation is conducted by a neutral third-party mediator who is agreed upon by both sides.
Most often, mediators are very experienced attorneys who have handled these situations for years. In some cases, mediations are conducted by former judges.
What to Expect on Mediation Day
If you think that your case is headed towards mediation, there are some simple steps involved that are common to most mediations that you should know about.
- The introductions. The mediator will introduce every party present first. This will typically include the defendant and the plaintiff, as well as their legal teams. After introductions are made, a mediator will typically give a brief overview of the case, and they may ask a few preliminary questions.
- Separation of the parties. Both parties will then separate to different locations. In fact, the plaintiff and the defendant may not see each other again until after the mediation concludes.
- Back and forth. The mediator will then get to work talking to both parties. The mediator will act as the go-between for the plaintiff and the defendant. The mediator will use their understanding of personal injury law and the facts of the case to analyze the entire situation. A mediator will pose questions to both parties and relay pertinent information. Importantly, the mediator will be a confidante of both parties, and they will not relay confidential information. However, because the mediator has all the facts, they will be able to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of both sides and make suggestions accordingly.
- A possible resolution. The goal of personal injury mediation is to try and reach a settlement before a costly trial becomes necessary. If both parties agree to a settlement amount, then the mediation will be over with.
- Avoiding trial. As we mentioned, the goal of personal injury mediation is to avoid trial. However, if the two parties cannot reach an agreement, it may be necessary to move forward with the trial. The mediation will conclude, and the attorneys will take back over.
Please Talk to Your Attorney
If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the actions of somebody else, please speak to a personal injury attorney in Riverside as soon as possible. An attorney can walk you through this entire process and will discuss settlements, mediation, and a possible trial. An attorney can use their resources and legal expertise to fully investigate the case and help ensure that you are treated fairly by all sides.