If you have been injured by someone's negligence but you want to avoid a courtroom trial, you can opt to go through mediation instead. The thought of dealing with a courtroom drama is traumatizing for some. If you choose mediation, you not only avoid the courtroom, but you also have a say in the final outcome of your dispute. Here are some things you need to know if you are considering mediation:
Definition of Mediation
Mediation is a process where you and the defendant work together with your attorneys along with a neutral third party, known as a mediator. You will each work to come to an agreement in how you finalize the case.
Definition of Mediator
A mediator is a lawyer who has the specialization to work as the neutral party in mediation. A mediator has to be unbiased in the case. You and the other party must agree on the mediator. If for some reason you cannot come to an agreement, the court will assign your mediator. The mediator is present to hear the facts in your case to help identify the roots of the issue. He or she will also be there to help facilitate the dialogue and help keep order.
The mediation begins similarly to a court trial. Each attorney will make their opening statements. The opening statement will discuss the events of the case. Your lawyer will argue why you should win the case and receive damages.
The attorney for the defendant will then speak on behalf of his or her client to present their side of the case. Each attorney will continue taking turns while the mediator listens. The mediator will listen to the information to help you come to a final agreement. He or she is not there to make the decision but to provide a legal opinion or input. You and the defendant will have the final call. If you don't like the way the mediation is going, you do not have to accept it. You have the option of going through a second mediation or moving it to court.
One of the most beneficial parts of mediation is the great amount of control you have over the decision. Your attorneys will work on a settlement figure. If you let the case go to court, you will not have a say in the outcome. If you win the case, you also do not have any say in the final compensatory settlement figure.
For more information about this option, speak with a personal injury lawyer.