Have you been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence in Massachusetts? Perhaps you sustained major injuries in a motor vehicle accident someone else caused. Or, maybe you were visiting a property when you were injured in an accident that occurred because the property owner failed to address a hazardous condition. Additionally, you could have been injured when using a defective product.

Those are just a few examples. Regardless of the specific cause of your accident, if you were harmed due to the actions or negligence of another, you can often file a claim or lawsuit to seek financial compensation for your losses/damages. These may include your medical bills, lost wages, and even certain non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.

How Insurance Companies & Defendants Respond When Victims Seek Compensation

When you initially take legal action, you shouldn’t expect the negligent party or their insurance company to automatically agree that you’re eligible to receive the full amount of compensation you’re seeking.

If possible, they may attempt to deny liability altogether, arguing you’ve failed to provide sufficient evidence that you were injured due to negligence. This is one of many reasons it’s smart to hire an attorney when pursuing compensation after an accident. A lawyer can investigate your accident and gather the evidence you need to present a strong case.

Even if they can’t fully avoid liability, the defendant or insurer might argue they shouldn’t be required to pay as much as you’re asking for. There are various ways you can potentially address this dispute.

Mediation is a common option. This overview will explain the basics of mediation, helping you better understand the role it might play in your personal injury case.

Mediation involves addressing this disagreement by meeting with a neutral third party (a mediator) to whom both you and the insurer or defendant will present your arguments.

What is Mediation?

Your goal is to demonstrate that you should collect a certain amount of money based on the extent of your compensable injuries and losses. The goal of the negligent party and/or their insurer is to convince you that you’re owed less than what you’re seeking.

Mediation involves addressing this disagreement by meeting with a neutral third party (a mediator) to whom both you and the insurer or defendant will present your arguments. The mediator is a professional (who often, but not always, has some form of experience in the legal field) whose job it is to help both parties involved in such a dispute come to an agreement.

What Does Mediation Involve in a Massachusetts Personal Injury Case?

The specifics of the mediation process can sometimes vary depending on numerous factors. If you’ve made the smart decision to hire a lawyer, they can explain in greater detail what you should expect from your mediation sessions.

That said, the process will typically involve these steps:

  • Signing a confidentiality agreement and officially agreeing to enter into the mediation process
  • Making an opening statement (which your lawyer could theoretically make on your behalf) in which you explain the details of your case and provide justification for why you believe you deserve to receive the amount of compensation you’re seeking
  • Allowing the defendant or insurance company to make their own opening statement in which they explain why they believe you should receive less money
  • Separating into different rooms

Mediation won’t always involve separating after opening statements have been made. Again, the process can vary on a case-by-case basis.

However, this separation is often necessary so that the mediator can meet with each party individually and discuss the details of a case. They will serve as an intermediary, facilitating indirect communication between both you and the insurance company, the defendant, or their attorneys (although the lawyers often won’t be involved because they won’t be the ones to ultimately pay you when your case is settled).

The mediator may eventually make recommendations to each party. However, neither party is required to agree to the recommendations of the mediator.

The Potential Benefits of Personal Injury Mediation in Massachusetts

Mediation can be an effective way to productively address a dispute when there is disagreement over the amount of money a personal injury victim is owed after an accident. Mediation can also eliminate the need to go to trial, which could save a victim a lot of time.

That’s not to say mediation is always ideal or necessary. Discuss this topic with a lawyer for more information. At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., our Boston personal injury attorneys will gladly answer our clients’ questions on this topic, helping them better appreciate whether mediation is right for their cases. Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting us online or calling us at (800) 545-3732 for a free consultation.

Need Help?

If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.

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About the Author: David W. Faraci
David Faraci is an associate attorney at Swartz & Swartz, P.C. David’s practice focuses on the representation of victims of all types of personal injuries and their families. David has experience working on a variety of litigation cases including medical malpractice, products liability, general negligence, catastrophic injuries, and wrongful death. Prior to joining Swartz & Swartz, David worked as an associate attorney at a boutique personal injury firm in Boston. David began his legal career in San Francisco, California where he worked as an associate attorney with a prominent Plaintiffs’ litigation firm.

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