Going Into Mediation For A Personal Injury Suit? Here's What To Expect

Many times, when you file a personal injury lawsuit against someone who you believe to have led to your injury, you won't end up actually going to court. Instead, you will end up in mediation -- a situation in which your lawyer and the other party's lawyer try to come to an agreement outside of court. If mediation goes well, you will receive a settlement for your injuries, and the defendant won't have to go through the struggle of court dates and having an official settlement tarnish their record.

If you have been given a mediation date by your lawyer, it is normal to be nervous. This is an important experience, and knowing what to expect can calm your nerves and help you get through it. Here are the basics of what you can expect at a mediation meeting.

1. Statements

One of the first things that will happen in mediation is that the defendant will give a statement. Their lawyer will present their side of the case -- their opinion of what happened and why they do not believe themselves to be at fault for the injuries you have suffered. It's important that you not become too worried or defensive during this statement. Calmly sit and listen, even if you disagree with what is being said.

2. Requests

After the other party gives their statement, they will present what they desire out of the mediation. They may request that they are let off the hook without paying any of your bills, or they may offer to pay a small amount. In either case, your lawyer will counter with their offer. You can expect the requests to be far apart in the beginning. For instance, you may be asking for $20,000, and they may be offering you $1,000. Do not be alarmed by this. The requests are just the beginning of the negotiations.

3. Input From the Mediator

Once the requests have been made and everyone has said their piece, the mediator will jump in. They may ask a few questions to gain additional information. Then, they will suggest a situation that seems to be a fair compromise between the two parties. For instance, if you are asking for $20,000 and the defendant has only offered $1,000, the mediator may suggest that $10,000 may be a fair amount to compensate you. Then, you and your lawyer can discuss whether or not to accept this offer. If you cannot work out an agreement with the mediator, your case will go to court.

If you have any additional concerns about mediation, bring them up to your personal injury lawyer. They have helped numerous clients navigate this process before, and they can also help you. For more information, contact a law office like The Bregman Law Firm, P.C.