Mediation is an important legal tool and one that has increasingly found favor among plaintiffs and legal professionals alike. Through mediation, both parties can sit down to a face-to-face discussion with a neutral third party trying to facilitate an agreement.
In the process, both sides get to hear what the other side has to say while relating their own perspective. The opinions of the mediator can also come as invaluable given their unique, neutral position. And above all else, the process costs far less time and money than most trial litigation.
For these reasons and many more, many injury victims and their representative personal injury lawyer have chosen to engage in mediation when an initial settlement cannot be reached. Read on to learn more about mediation and how personal injury attorneys use the process to their client’s advantage.
How Mediation Works
Mediation services are provided by professional mediation firms or independent practitioners. Most full-time mediators have a law degree and many years of legal experience as an attorney or a trial lawyer. Others are retired judges or lawyers who continue to take on clients in addition to their mediation roles.
When engaging with a mediator, both sides must agree to a time and a place, and they often split the costs of the mediation between them. While there, each side has the opportunity to present their case to the mediator or discuss case details amongst each other with the mediator present. Each side may also request to speak with the mediator in private in order to disclose confidential details of their case and receive corresponding input.
Because the mediator is privy to all three forms of communication, they will have the opportunity to drive both parties towards an objectively beneficial conclusion while still keeping private statements in confidence.
While either party may use the same documents and evidence they present in mediation in court, they may not enter statements made during mediation into evidence. This restriction allows mediation to have a low-stakes, non-hostile discussion environment without either party having to closely guard their personal positions.
If an agreement can be reached through mediation, both parties will draft a legal document and sign it, signaling the successful completion of a case. If not, the personal injury victim has the option to proceed to alternative steps, including trial litigation.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Assists You During Mediation
Even though mediation can lower the financial and professional barriers needed to bring your case to a resolution, you will still be relying on an experienced personal injury lawyer throughout the whole process.
For one, an attorney is needed to properly investigate your injury claim, document the full costs of your injury and provide compelling evidence as to the veracity of your claim. During mediation, a lawyer can advise you as to strategies needed to convince the opposing side to reach closer to your ideal settlement amount, especially in light of the statements they make during mediation.
If you have been injured and wish to pursue a settlement, mediation or a lawsuit in order to obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve, contact our experienced lawyers at 207-775-3819 or fill out our free case review form.