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.