The attorneys at Foley Law Firm are ready to go to trial if needed. We fight diligently for our clients, which means being there for them every step of the way. When possible, however, we will help our clients seek a reasonable settlement to avoid going into a lengthy legal battle. The mediation process is an important part of resolving cases. Entirely voluntary, a number of personal injury lawsuits are resolved through settlements reached through mediation.
Our Scranton, PA personal injury lawyers would like to go over some of the basics of mediation so you understand what it involves and why it can be an important part of the civil litigation process.
The Role of a Mediator
A mediator is a neutral third party who is there to listen to each side in a case, convey information objectively, and help the parties reach a mutually agreeable resolution. A mediator cannot take sides or share their opinion on legal matters, but simply facilitate a process of compromise.
Many mediators are retired lawyers or judges, meaning that they are experienced with legal considerations and the important role of mediation.
Who Is Present During Mediation?
During mediation, plaintiff and defendant sides will be present. If you are the plaintiff, you will be there with your attorney as well as any pertinent family members or loved ones. The defendant’s side is usually represented by the defendant’s attorney and a representative from the insurance company.
What Happens During Mediation?
After hearing from both sides of the case, the mediator goes back and forth between plaintiff and defendant sides. The mediator can relay information provided by the other side, point out weaknesses in your case, and offer details on settlement offers.
This process continues until each side is satisfied with a resolution. Throughout this timeframe, the mediator remains impartial and objective.
How Long Is the Mediation Process?
Sometimes meditation only takes a few hours. Other times, a day or so of back and forth may be necessary before each party is satisfied. Keep in mind that sometimes mediation can take a long time, especially if each party is unwilling to compromise.
Benefits of Mediation Over Trials
Some of the primary benefits of seeking legal mediation include:
- Information About the Case Is Kept Private - When a case goes to trial, the information is part of the public record. That means that transcripts and the information about the case can be looked up. If a case if resolved through mediation, then the information is kept confidential.
- Faster Resolution Than Going to Trial - Mediation may take a few hours or a few days on average, which is far shorter than going to trial. Rather than waiting several months, the case is resolved much sooner.
- Less Expensive Than Going to Trial - With less time involved in resolving your case, that means much lower legal fees as well. This is important to consider if you foresee a major financial burden if you were to see your case through to trial.
Contact Our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers
For more information about your legal rights and options following harm as a result of negligence, be sure to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. We at the Foley Law Firm can help. You can reach our team of attorneys by phone at (800) 523-6539.