An Opportunity for Both Sides.
When your work injury or car accident case is in litigation, the parties will very likely have an opportunity to mediate the case. Mediation is a meeting that takes place where both sides get to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of a case in an attempt to see if there is a possibility of reaching a settlement in the case. In some rare occasions, the parties can agree to mediate a case even before a lawsuit is filed. This usually occurs when there is a real interest in saving on the costs of litigation.
Where Does the Mediations Take Place?
The discussions and the negotiations are facilitated by a neutral attorney, the Mediator. The mediation takes place in an office setting. It begins with a general session where both sides and the mediator meet to discuss the case. This usually occurs in a large conference room. The mediator will explain the rules of the mediation and then each side gets an opportunity to present critical information about the case. Then, the parties then break out into their own room for the rest of the day and negotiations begin.
The Mediator’s Role.
The mediator’s job is to explain the process of mediation to each side. He will encourage the parties to explain their position in the case as best as they can so that the case could be valued properly. The mediator’s job is not to judge who would win or lose. His job is to highlight the relevant evidence that the other side would present at trial so that you, an injured individual could determine if it is in your best interest to settle now or continue to trial.
Even though the mediator is a neutral party, as your personal injury lawyer, it is my job to make sure that we are able to use him/her as a spokesperson for you when he goes and speaks with the other side! It will be my job to load him up with as much information about your case every time he comes into the meeting room to speak with us.
What Happens if We Do Not Settle at Mediation?
While it is true that mediation is likely the best opportunity to resolve your case, cases don’t always settle at mediation for a variety of reason. As your lawyer, once we leave mediation, we would continue to do everything that we need to do to prepare your case for trial. The truth is though, your case can still be settled even after you have left the mediation. Cases can be settled at any point. The goal is to weigh taking a settlement now versus the costs associated with preparing the case for trial. If the parties do not reach an agreement, the case proceeds to trial.
It is important that if your case is going to mediation, that your lawyer explains the process to you and talks to you about what will be discussed during mediation. Often times, an injured party can take offense to the discussions that occur during mediation. It is important to be ready for what you are going to hear and listen with an open mind. As your injury lawyer, we will make sure that we have a response for every point raised. Your job as the client, after you receive advice from us, is to make the ultimate decision on whether to accept a settlement offer.
Call and put Sandoval to work for you!