Posted in Personal Injury on March 22, 2022
If you or somebody you love sustains an injury caused by the actions of another individual or entity, you have the right to recover compensation for your losses. Often, these claims are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers, but they may have to go to the civil court system. Here, we want to discuss an alternative dispute resolution process known as mediation. Specifically, we want to delve into what you can expect if your case goes to a mediator.
Mediation is considered an alternative dispute resolution process that individuals can go through to avoid the costly expense of going through with a full jury trial. In fact, it is not uncommon for a judge to order a plaintiff and a defendant to undergo mediation to resolve the injury claim before they allow the case to proceed forward.
A mediation will typically be overseen by a neutral third-party mediator. This mediator will likely be someone with legal experience, which often means they are former judges or attorneys who have handled personal injury claims in the past. The role of the mediator is to facilitate discussion between both sides and to objectively look at the facts of the case in a way that both parties are unable to because they are going against one another.
Mediation will begin with the mediator and both parties (and their lawyers) in the same room. The mediator will introduce everyone and then allow both sides to give the basic outline of their case. At this point, both parties will typically separate into different rooms, with the mediator going back and forth between the two sides.
Because the mediator is “all-knowing” of the facts of the case, they will be able to suggest to one or both parties what they think is a fair arrangement. The mediator will be able to examine the information as an outsider and make these recommendations based on their experience. This neutral third party mediator will not reveal what the other side has said, but they will use this information to coax one or both sides into changing their positions towards a favorable agreement.
The ultimate goal of a mediation is for the plaintiff and the defendant to reach a fair settlement agreement. If this agreement can be reached, the mediation will end, and a judge will be notified. If the settlement is approved, the case will conclude, and trial will be avoided.
Mediations are meant to be less formal than a typical legal proceeding. Both sides can say what they need to say without fear that they will say the “wrong” thing and lose the dispute.
If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury caused by the actions of another party, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney immediately. An Atlanta personal injury lawyer will be by your side throughout the entire process, including during the mediation. You do not want to go into a mediation unrepresented while the other side has representation. Your attorney can help you through this process from the beginning to the end, and they will be there to help you with litigation should the mediation not render a successful conclusion.