What To Expect At Your Personal Injury Mediation
When you file a personal injury case, but before your case actually gets to trial, you will almost certainly be told by the judge to go to mediation. This may seem scary to you—in fact, it may be the first time you’ve had to appear anywhere in your case, if you haven’t already had a deposition. What is mediation, and what will be expected of you at the mediation?
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process to try to settle your case, before trial. You, the other side, and your attorneys will all be at the mediation, as will the mediator.
The mediator is not a judge, and makes no decisions about your case. The mediator is just there to facilitate a settlement, or to act as a “middle man (or woman)” between you and the other side, to try to get you to meet in the middle, and come to a settlement.
The mediator may encourage you to settle, tell you that your case is good or bad, or predict what will happen in court—but the mediator can’t force you to do anything, and he or she makes no determinations of who is right or wrong.
If you come to a resolution, the mediator will write up a settlement, and your case is done. If you opt not to settle, the case continues as normal.
What Happens at Mediation
Everything said in mediation is totally confidential—all parties must abide by the mediation confidentiality.
Your mediation will begin with an opening statement from both sides. Both sides will say what they feel the evidence in trial would be, and why they think their case is strong, and the other sides’ case is weak. Both sides are trying to pressure the other into settling the case. This may be the first time you have heard the other side give their side of the story.
You, as the victim, may be asked some basic questions from the mediator, but generally, you will only have to listen to both sides.
Usually, after the opening statements, you and your lawyers will go to one room, and the other side and their lawyers will go to another room. The mediator will go back and forth between rooms, relaying offers and messages between the two sides.
Again, the mediator may ask you some questions, but everything you say is confidential, and the mediator isn’t trying to help or hurt you-he or she is just trying to understand the case better to make it easier to settle the case.
To Settle or Not?
You have the ultimate say in what to do at mediation—that is, whether to settle your case or not. Your injury attorney should have your expenses and costs, so that you know what your expected damages, and recovery, could be.
Injured? We can help you through every step of the process, to get compensation for your injuries. Call the Tampa personal injury attorneys at Barbas Nunez Sanders Butler & Hovsepian for help. Schedule a consultation today.