Using Mediation to Settle Your Personal Injury Case
- posted: Oct. 30, 2021
The vast majority of personal injury cases settle without going to trial and many of these settlements are achieved through mediation. Not only can mediation result in a faster resolution of your personal injury claim, but it can be more cost-effective and less stressful as well.
Mediation is an out-of-court process by which a neutral third party called a mediator brings both sides together for frank discussions. The mediator does not offer an opinion regarding the case or make any determinations. Rather, he or she facilitates the exchange of views between the parties and helps ensure the talks proceed calmly and constructively.
Some of the benefits to using mediation to settle a personal injury case include:
- Privacy — Unlike a trial, a mediation is conducted in a private setting. Both sides also have the opportunity to speak with the mediator privately outside the other party's presence.
- Confidentiality — All parties sign a confidentiality agreement, so anything discussed during the mediation cannot be introduced in court in the event that settlement discussions fail and litigation is pursued.
- Cost-effectiveness — By dispensing with the procedural and documentary hurdles of litigation, mediation allows you to resolve your claim more quickly and to reduce your outlays of fees and costs.
- Certainty — When you participate in mediation, you have more control of what the outcome of your case will be, including the settlement amount and terms. By contrast, you have no control over a judge’s rulings or a jury's verdict in a trial.
Mediation is a non-adversarial process. Typically, it begins with you and your attorney meeting in a separate room from the defense attorney and the insurance adjuster. The mediator will alternate between the rooms to discuss the case. The mediator is also permitted to speak with your attorney privately to disclose the pros and cons of your case. Plaintiffs and defendants often do not play a large role in mediation, leaving the discussion to their attorneys. However, your consent will be required for any settlement that is proposed. It's not uncommon to have several mediation sessions before a settlement is reached.
If you are considering mediating your personal injury claim, it's important to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side who can protect your rights and advise you throughout the process. An experienced attorney will reject a low-ball offer or any settlement not proposed in good faith.
With over 30 years of combined experience, Quinn & Kronlund LLP offers mediation services in personal injury matters and also represents parties submitting their cases for mediation. Call 209-943-3950 or contact us online to schedule a consultation at our Stockton office.