What is Mediation and How Does it Work?
What is mediation?
In a personal injury lawsuit, there may be a need for mediation to reach an acceptable settlement for injuries, property damage, lost wages, and other losses you may have suffered as a result of an accident. Mediation is the process of resolving issues with the help of a trained and impartial third party when the parties involved in the lawsuit are unable or unwilling to resolve a dispute. Both sides agree to use a mediator to assist in reaching a resolution that is acceptable to both parties. Participation in mediation proceedings is usually voluntary, meaning you can end your involvement at any time, unless mediation has been ordered by the court or dictated by statute. If this is the case, you are obligated to participate in mediation. Mediation is confidential, therefore any discussions are usually not admissible in court except for a finalized, signed agreement.
How does mediation work?
Mediation may take place prior to a lawsuit being filed in court, or while a dispute is pending in court. Each party has an opportunity to give their account of the circumstances which led to the dispute to be mediated. Mediators can’t favor the interests of one side over another; their responsibility is be impartial and guide both parties equally toward reaching an acceptable resolution. Each party has an equal right to agree or disagree with any proposed action, and nothing can be imposed upon anyone. The mediator’s role is to make sure that the agreement(s) reached in mediation is achieved voluntarily, and in an informed manner. Compromise is encouraged, but coercion and intimidation are strictly forbidden. Legal and expert advice on issues in mediation is not only allowed but encouraged, so that both parties are fully informed on every issue.
How does mediation impact a case?
Because a mediator is a facilitator charged with helping both parties find common ground and deal with unrealistic expectations by interpreting concerns, framing issues, and relaying information between the parties, the parties involved will ultimately be the ones to resolve their dispute as the mediator assists them in moving through the mediation process. The mediator has no authority to compel either or both sides to settle. The mediator’s expertise will assist in framing the mediated agreement so that it is a compromised settlement which is beneficial to both parties, resulting in a “win-win” situation, and could eliminate the need for a court trial.
What are the benefits of mediation?
Mediation can save time, effort, stress, and delays in reaching a settlement that could negatively affect both parties. Mediation gives both sides the opportunity to be actively involved in the resolution of disputes and offers privacy and confidentiality not available in a court trial. In many cases, mediation can help dispel any animosity existing between the parties involved, and result in a better relationship after mediation.
How to prepare for mediation
Make sure you or your attorney have any documentation supporting your claim such as medical bills, doctor’s notes and/or diagnoses, witness statements, pay stubs, applicable photos and expert statements. The mediator will relay messages including offers, counter offers, proposals, questions, or demands between both sides. You will likely have both individual sessions known as “caucuses” and joint sessions with the mediator. The joint sessions help define the issues for the mediator, as well as determine the position of both parties on each issue.
Past Case Results
At Whalen Hersh, we’ve represented many accident clients over the years and recovered over $25 million in settlements. Our goal in representing you is to establish a direct, meaningful, trusted and reliable relationship and secure a settlement that is fair and equitable. Our firm exclusively represents clients against insurance companies and corporations in personal injury matters, and we will work closely with you to ensure that you receive the medical attention you need, the support you deserve, and the representation you depend on.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident and are seeking a compassionate, experienced, personal injury attorney with a proven track record of success, give us a call. Whalen Hersh lawyers will fight for your best interests both in and out of the courtroom. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.
You can reach us in Denver at (720) 307-2666 or in Colorado Springs at (719) 644-7000 to learn more. Our offices are located in the Denver Tech Center at 7955 East Arapahoe Court, Suite 2375, Centennial, CO 80112, and in Colorado Springs in the Alamo Corporate Center located at 102 S. Tejon Street, Suite 1100. We look forward to working with you to help you receive fair and just compensation for all your losses.