A mediation is a meeting where a mediator attempts to help the parties to a lawsuit to compromise and resolve their differences so that a lawsuit can be settled without going to trial. A mediation is not a hearing or an arbitration. … Rather, the mediator helps the parties to agree to a compromised settlement.
In recent years, there has been slow but steady movement away from the expensive, stressful, and time-consuming adversarial legal system as a way of settling personal injury disputes. Instead, people have been taking advantage of different types of alternative dispute resolution — particularly, mediation. Even lawyers and insurance adjusters companies now recognize the value of mediation and use it frequently. And in recent years it has become quite common in personal injury cases. If you have reached an impasse in negotiations with an insurance company over settlement of your personal injury claim, mediation may offer a sensible way out.
Before Mediation Begins, Everyone Signs Confidentiality Agreements:
After everyone has been introduced, the mediator passes around a document everyone signs agreeing to keep negotiations at the mediation confidential. This means that each party can agree or admit things they otherwise wouldn’t at a trial. Since mediation is confidential, both parties can relax. This is how personal injury mediation works.
Mediation a Required Step in a Personal Injury Case?
Sometimes the court orders mediation and other times it is voluntarily agreed to by both parties. Mediation can be a wonderful tool to resolve claims without the risk, expense, and energy required to prosecute or defend a lawsuit in a trial.
Why is Confidentiality Important in Personal Injury Mediation?
Nobody worries about saying something the other side could use against them at trial. For example, the defense may say they are not contesting fault at mediation (which means admitting full liability for mediation only) but could fight fault at trial. Or, the defense may offer a settlement figure. If the case doesn’t settle, neither side can tell a judge or jury about one side’s willingness to settle.