In my last blog post titled “Stage Six of a Personal Injury Claim-Filing the Initial Set of Discovery,” I talked about the gathering of evidence by both parties through subpoenas and discovery requests. This post is about the next step: Mediation. Mediation is necessary before a case goes to trial, unless a settlement is agreed upon by both parties beforehand.
You are probably wondering, “What is Mediation?” Mediation is a form of “ADR” which is Alternative Dispute Resolution – a means for two disagreeing parties to come to a resolution. At mediation, a mediator (a third party) is paid by both parties to assist in reaching an agreement about the final settlement. A mediator is wholly impartial and neutral to either side. The mediator is trained to facilitate a reasonable settlement, based on all the information provided by both parties. The advantages of mediation are numerous, primarily that the case ends in a manner agreeable to both sides. Settlement at this stage also eliminates further costs and the uncertainty of trial.
It is up to both parties whether or not to agree upon the settlement suggested by the mediator. If the case is not resolved, it will then move to the next step – Trial. That is what I will be talking about in my next post-The Eighth Stage of a Personal Injury Claim.