Mediation is a tool that’s often used in personal injury cases to try to settle a case before trial. The concept of mediation is that the parties, rather than take the case to trial in front of jury which involves risks to both sides, instead of that, they agree to attempt to settle the case by using a mediator.
Mediators usually are a retired judge or a very experienced attorney who has knowledge with regard to these types of cases. The mediator, for a fee, agrees to meet with the parties, analyze the case, and attempt to bring them together to reach a resolution. Typically the process involves a half day or a day with the mediator in which the parties come with their clients in order to attempt to settle the case.
Typically mediation will start off with a joint session where the mediator explains how the session will work, how the mediation will work, and how the parties through their attorneys get to present their case.
After that, what usually happens is that the mediator will split the parties up sending one party to one room, one party to another room, and the mediator will go back and forth between the two rooms discussing the merits of their of their case and attempting to get the parties together to a resolution.
This involves compromise on both sides. The plaintiff has to be willing to compromise in order to get the case settled, as does the defendant. If the mediation is successful, the case will end there. The parties will resolve their case without having to go to court.
However, it’s important to understand that it’s a voluntary process. No settlement is going to be reached unless both sides voluntarily agree to it. If no settlement is reached, then the case has to go to court. But mediation is often an effective tool in order to resolve cases and avoid the risk of going to trial.