What to Expect When and if You Go to Mediation
So you have a personal injury case that is going on, and your injury attorney calls you and says that the other side wants to mediate—or that the court is sending both sides of the case to mediation. Here’s what a mediation is, and what you can expect when you get to your mediation.
Who is There?
At a mediation there are three parties that will be there: You (and your attorney), the other side (and their attorney) and the mediator. There may be more people there—for example, insurance adjusters, but every side will be there, with the mediator.
What Will Happen?
The good news about mediation is that for you, as the victim, it is a passive process. You won’t be questioned, or expected to answer anything from the other side. Both sides will present their case to the mediator. This means they will tell the mediator what evidence they would have, when and if the case actually went all the way to trial.
You will hear your attorney tell the other side the strengths of your case, and the other side will tell you the weaknesses that they see in your case. You may hear things from other attorneys that are difficult to hear or that you may not agree with. But it is important to hear so you know what you may hear when and if your case goes all the way to trial.
From there, the mediation goes on, with the parties going back and forth with settlement offers. The parties may be put into separate rooms, so that they can speak with their attorneys privately.
Who is the Mediator?
The mediator is not a judge, and makes no decisions. The mediator can’t tell you who will win, or who should win, the case. All the mediator does is act as a facilitator, trying to get both sides to alert their settlement demands, so that they can meet in the middle at a reasonable settlement that they both accept.
The mediator may ask you a few questions, but one good thing about mediation is that everything you or any attorney says in mediation, is absolutely private and confidential. So, you are not being recorded, nor are you under oath, and you can’t say the “wrong” thing.
After the Mediation
If you can come to an agreement and settle your case in mediation, the case is over, on the terms and settlement amount that you agreed to at mediation. In this way, mediation can be good because it puts the decision in your hands—not in a jury’s hands. You have control over what to accept.
If you can’t reach a settlement, your case will go on as it normally would. There is nothing stopping you from settling the case later on, outside of mediation.
What can you expect to happen in your personal injury case? We can help you understand the process. Call the Boston personal injury lawyers at The Law Office of Joseph Linnehan, Jr. today at 617-275-4200 for help and for a free consultation.