If you were hurt by the negligent actions of another party and you want to receive compensation for damages, you may want to settle through mediation instead of going to court. Mediation will help prevent any stress or fears you may have about going through court. Instead, you and the defendant can settle your dispute yourselves, along with your attorneys. The following are some things you should know about mediation:
How Does Mediation Work?
Mediation is when two parties meet to negotiate a settlement of a legal matter. You will work with a mediator, who is neutral to your case and is there only to facilitate the meeting. The goal of mediation is a satisfactory settlement that all parties can agree to. You and your attorney will meet with the defendant and his or her attorney. You will each take turns presenting your sides and evidence until you come to a final agreement.
Who Acts as a Mediator?
A mediator is an attorney with specialized certification. The mediator is unbiased and has no personal stake in either side and does not impact the results of your case. All parties have to agree on a mediator. If you are unable to agree on a mediator, the court can provide one for you.
The goal of the mediator is to listen to the facts of the case and help you discover some areas where you may agree. He or she will facilitate the negotiation as you discuss your final settlement. The mediator does not make any decisions. You and the defendant will make the decision together.
What Should You Expect During a Mediation?
The process of mediation begins with opening statements by each attorney. The statement will discuss the facts of the incident that caused your injury. Your attorney will argue why you should receive a settlement. After the defendant's attorney makes an opening statement, each attorney will go back and forth discussing points and counterpoints as the mediator listens. The mediator may help point out facts and other information that may help you better decide the outcome of the negotiation. Once you are done with negotiations, you and the other party will decide on the settlement and how it will be transferred.
If you cannot come to a mutually agreeable decision, you can go through mediation a second time. You can also opt to go forward with your case in court if you believe you will receive a more suitable settlement figure. For more information about this process, contact a personal injury attorney.