The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled out of court. Mediation is just one method of resolving a lawsuit before going to trial. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which a third party helps both sides in a lawsuit come to a mutually agreeable arrangement.
The White Plains, NY personal injury lawyers of Worby Vecchio Edelman, LLP have helped numerous clients in the mediation process, and can provide insight and counsel should this route be recommended in your case. Our legal team would like to go over some of the basics of the mediation process below, including the advantages of the process that make it worth considering.
What Does a Mediator Do?
As a neutral third-party, a mediator helps present both sides in a personal injury case with proposed resolutions and settlements. The mediator cannot pick a side, though he or she may ask questions for clarification and help explain matters to each party in a case as needed. This allows each side to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their case.
Mediators must be neutral, and they have to communicate matters effectively. That may be why many mediators are retired judges and lawyers.
Who Is Present During Mediation?
During mediation, the mediator will be present along with the plaintiff’s side and the defendant’s side.
A plaintiff will often be present with their lawyer. A family member or loved one of the plaintiff’s may also be present during the process. On the defendant’s side, there is usually the defendant’s attorney and a representative from the defendant’s insurance company. Defendants themselves may or may not be present.
About the Mediation Process
The mediator is typically sent information about the case from the attorneys for the plaintiff and defendant. This helps them understand the details of the case. During the actual mediation session, the process begins with a joint session, with plaintiff and defendant sides in the same room. The mediator may use this opportunity to explain the process and then allow each side to present the matters that are being discussed.
Following the joint session, the mediator will typically send parties to separate rooms, allowing the mediator to meet with each group separately. A party will make their demands known to the mediator, who will then convey that information to the party in the other room. The party can accept, reject, or amend the demands of the other party, and the mediator will convey that information. Through this neutral third party, both sides can reach an agreement without heated, emotional, or unproductive arguments.
How Long Does Mediation Take?
Mediation usually takes a few hours to an entire day. However, if both sides are unwilling to compromise, the mediation process may last longer.
The Benefits of Mediation
Some of the key benefits of mediation include the following:
- Case Details Remain Private - During a trail, the proceedings in court are a matter of public record. In mediation, all of the information remains confidential, which means the public will not know the details of the case or what was discussed.
- Saves Time Compared to Trials - Mediation avoids the lengthy process of jury selection, going to trial, and a potential appeals process. It’s a good option for resolving cases with less hassle.
- A Less Expensive Option Than Trial - With less time committed to a case and seeing it through trial, mediation tends to be much more affordable than going to court.
Contact Our Team of Personal Injury Lawyers
For more information about your legal rights and options and whether or not you should consider mediation for your case, be sure to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. The lawyers of Worby Vecchio Edelman, LLP are here to help. You can reach our law office by phone by calling (914) 686-3700.