How The Personal Injury Mediation Process Works
Hey, everybody, it’s Chris Denmon, a civil trial lawyer and partner at Denmon Pearlman, and I want to talk to you about the mediation process in your personal injury case.
So, if you’re watching this video right now or reading this transcript, it’s because we’ve filed a lawsuit in your case.
We probably have gone through depositions where you’ve had an opportunity to sit down and answer questions for the insurance (company’s) attorney — and now we are preparing to go through the mediation process [or a formal settlement conference] to see if we can get your case resolved.
Who Is The Mediator?
A mediator is a professional, someone who is trained, in trying to get a resolution for all of us so that the case could settle.
Ultimately, we wouldn’t have to go further into the case anymore if a settlement agreement can be reached.
The Mediation Process
Mediation will start with everyone in one room.
We will then split up and we’ll do what we call a caucus. In other words, you and I [if I’m the attorney working with you] will go into another room or the insurance attorney and the adjuster will go into another room — and then the mediator will go back and forth, and his (or her) goal is to get a resolution and get a deal done.
Now, before we end up going into the mediation process, we are going to sit down and we are going to have a meeting to go over a couple of things.
We’ll rehash things and I’ll answer any questions that you have, but we’ll also talk, and we’ll value your case.
Valuing Your Case
We are going to decide what it is that our settlement range is going to be, and perhaps most importantly, we’re going to commit to what the lowest number is that we’re going to resolve your case for.
We will take that number with us in meditation, and that’s just to make sure that we’re on the same page and to make that we don’t end up taking a bad resolution that we don’t like.
What If You Don’t Get A Deal Done In Mediation?
Don’t worry about it, we go through the mediation process all the time, and more often than not, we get the right resolution or a good resolution for our clients.
But if we don’t get things done during the mediation process, it’s not a problem. We just end up going forward with the litigation path where we’ll probably set your case for trial if it isn’t already set for trial.
We’ll further the discovery process, meaning I might have more witnesses that I need to talk to. Maybe we need to set some depositions with your doctors — but again, it’s nothing to worry about.
It is not uncommon at all to go into the mediation process and not get a deal done.
The Insurance Attorney
Sometimes we go into mediation and the other insurance (company’s) attorney can be a little bit gruff, a little bit confrontational with you.
And sometimes the insurance attorney will make a lowball offer.
If that happens, don’t worry about it. It’s not a big deal. This stuff happens almost all the time during the mediation process, but it’s nothing to worry about.
At the end of the day, we’ve sat down in advance and we know what your case is worth. We know what we’re going to resolve the case for, and if it doesn’t happen during the mediation process, so what?
All it means is I, as your injury attorney, have a little extra work I need to do — but we’ll get it done and we’ll move forward.
Questions? Contact Us
If you have any questions before we sit down and we meet, please give our office a call (to) talk to your case manager or the injury attorney that’s assigned to your case. Otherwise, we’ll see you soon to prepare you for the mediation process.