Mediation is a legal situation in which an impartial third party, often a lawyer or other legal expert, helps two other parties negotiate and reach an agreement. There are many types of lawsuits that may require mediation, including personal injury lawsuits. There are some definite benefits to have a mediator during the negotiation process. The mediator will be a patient, persistent, and experienced person with effective listening and communication techniques. The mediator, in the case of an auto accident, is present to help the two parties involved communicate with each other.
The conference takes place in a neutral and private space, such as the lawyer’s office. The parties involved may or may not bring attorneys with them. The mediator will usually start with an introduction or opening statement, in which he describes his experience and lists basic information about the parties involved. He then goes on to discuss administrative matters such as fees, contracts, and confidentiality. He describes the day’s schedule when breaks will take place, and whether or not more sessions can be scheduled later. Finally, the mediator will explain the expected code of conduct for the proceedings to ensure that both parties treat each other with common courtesy.
After these formalities are out of the way, each party has an opportunity to present the facts that led to the current dispute. The parties can then have one-on-one private sessions with the mediator before meeting again to discuss the results and options for moving forward. Hopefully, at this point, the discussion moves into negotiations and comes to a decision. If that is not possible, the mediator can declare a break until a later session or end the mediation entirely. Once an agreement is reached, both parties will sign the terms in writing, either with the attorneys present or later in the presence of their legal advisor.
Communicating on Your Behalf
Mediation is generally a win-win situation for both parties involved in the dispute because it can help them reach a resolution much faster than waiting for a trial in court. There is also no penalty for not reaching an agreement during mediation, although failure to appear for court-ordered mediation can result in just a fine. If the parties cannot reach an agreement during mediation, the court will determine the next steps (which, in most cases, simply mean more mediation sessions).
See A Lawyer First
Mediators are highly trained expert communicators with a detailed understanding of dispute resolution and the legal system. If you are involved in a personal injury dispute and decide that mediation is a path you would like to follow, keep in mind that you do not have to go it alone. However, it is best to speak to a personal injury lawyer first so it can be determined whether you need mediation for your case or not. If you want to know more about how to proceed with your personal injury case, it is time to contact a legal professional such as Lampert & Walsh Attorneys.