After you’ve filed your personal injury lawsuit, after you’ve had your deposition taken, and after you are examined by a doctor, the next step for you, as the client, could be a personal injury mediation.
What is Personal Injury Mediation?
According to the American Bar Association, personal injury mediation is a private process where a neutral third person helps two parties discuss and try to resolve a dispute. Mediation can be used interchangeably with settlement conferences.
After your personal injury attorney has properly worked up your case and the defense has worked up theirs, both sides will typically attempt to settle the case prior to trial. The tool most often used for this is personal injury mediation.
Who Will Be The Mediator?
Since personal injury Mediation is voluntary, your attorney and the defense attorney will agree on which Mediator to use. In general, Mediators are retired judges who have his or her own private Mediation practice.
Typically, both attorneys know the Mediator. Choosing a Mediator that both the defense attorney and your personal injury attorney trust and will listen to during negotiations, as long as the Mediator is fair to both parties is paramount.
As the Plaintiff, you’ll want a Mediator that will not be afraid to tell the defense the positive points surrounding your case. You also want the Mediator to have enough credibility with the defense that they will trust and listen to the Mediator, even if he or she tells them something they may not necessarily want to hear. Having a Mediator that is in your corner but isn’t trusted by the defense will not be helpful.
What Happens at Mediation in a Personal Injury Case?
Typically, you and your personal injury attorney will be in a separate room from the defense. For most cases, the defense room will include the defense attorney and the insurance adjuster.
Usually, the insurance adjuster is the most important person in that room–the adjuster truly controls the money. They control how much, if anything, will be offered to you in a settlement.
The Mediator will move back and forth between rooms–discussing the case with you and your personal injury attorney, and then discussing the case with the insurance adjuster and defense attorney.
Sometimes, the Mediator will speak to your personal injury attorney outside of the room. In some cases, they feel as if they can be more transparent about the pros and cons of your case, especially if the defense is conveying negative information about you.
What to Expect in Mediation for Personal Injury
Your role during the Mediation will be limited. Mediation isn’t the same as deposition. For the most part, you won’t have significant interaction with the defense. Initially, the Mediator will want to meet you and spend a few minutes to get to know you.
In some cases, the Mediator will want to get all of the parties together in one room for a joint session. If this happens, your personal injury attorney will prepare you prior to the session, so you’ll know what to expect.
Mediation Personal Injury Settlement
The goal of personal injury Mediation is to settle the case. If you are able to do this, great! However, many times, in order to get the full value for your case, you’ll have to leave Mediation without the case being settled. If this happens, the Mediator will continue to assist both sides in negotiations over the telephone. A second or even third personal injury Mediation may be scheduled.
Curcio Law Offices Offer a Sophisticated Approach to Personal Injury Mediation
If you have questions about a personal injury claim or need help negotiating a reasonable settlement, the experienced injury attorneys at Curcio Law Offices can help you understand your options. Our attorneys are known for their attention to detail, aggressive strategies and exceptional client experience throughout the Chicago area.
To schedule your free consultation, call Curcio Law Offices at 312-321-1111 today!