How to Prepare for a Mediation
When you have filed a personal injury claim, your attorney will often talk a length with the other party’s legal representative. As part of the process, many cases participate in mediation to keep a case from going to trial. Trials can be lengthy and expensive, so it often is in both parties’ interest to settle outside of court when possible. Let’s overview what mediation is, what to expect, and how to prepare for mediation in your personal injury case.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a meeting between both plaintiff and respondent led by a neutral third party, called a mediator. The injured party and those responsible discuss damages and attempt to reach a settlement where both parties are satisfied. While it doesn’t always result in a settlement, it is also an excellent way to understand where each side stands regarding the case.
What Happens In a Mediation?
Both parties confer in a meeting room, not the courtroom, and bring their attorneys. Sometimes everyone may be in the same room; often, you will be in a separate room as the defense. The mediator, who is trained in conflict resolution, will lead the discussion and assist the parties in problem-solving. They will go back and forth between each room to hear from each side.
Think of mediation as a brainstorming session to determine the best way to come to an agreement. Your attorney will prep you ahead of time on what may happen in your specific case. Mediation is entirely confidential, and anything that is said or done in mediation cannot be used within the courtroom. Remember, your lawyer is there to assist you in negotiation, so always check with them if you have any hesitancy or concerns.
How to Prepare for Mediation
Your participation in mediation is pretty limited, as it will mainly be your attorney taking an active role during the actual meeting. However, before mediation, you and your attorney must prepare so there are no surprises. Your attorney should clearly understand your thoughts and feelings on the case. Then they will be adequately able to assess any offers and be able to convey expectations to the mediator properly.
Have you been injured and need the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney in San Francisco? Call 415 545 8608 to get a free case evaluation today.