While many personal injury claims settle out of court before litigation, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit in court to recover the compensation you deserve by law. During the proceedings, the court may order you to participate in a process called mediation. Your Ocala personal injury attorney will be present to protect your rights and represent your interests, but it’s still important to understand what will take place. This overview of mediation covers the basics.
The Mediation Process: Mediation is an informal, out-of-court hearing where the parties meet with a mediation professional to discuss the key issues in your personal injury claim. The mediator is a neutral party who is specially trained in techniques to facilitate productive conversations between parties to a lawsuit. Through encouragement and guidance, the mediator can help you reach a compromise on a settlement amount. Even where you were unable to reach an agreement before filing a lawsuit, it may be possible to resolve your case through mediation.
Benefits of Mediation: Cost and time are the biggest advantages to resolving your case through mediation. The proceeding can be completed in less than a day, so you could receive a check for the settlement amount within a short time afterwards. Plus, you’ll incur less costs as costs increase the longer your case is open.
Mediation May Be Required by Florida Law: The benefits notwithstanding, you may not have a choice but to go through mediation. Florida law required mediation before trial and, sometimes, upon request.
How Mediation Works: Once the mediation order is entered, the parties and mediator work out a date, time, and place for the session. The parties will prepare a summary of the facts and arguments in advance, so they have an idea of each other’s positions on areas of dispute. This synopsis also provides some background for the mediator.
The format for the mediation is similar to a trial, with opening arguments, presentation of evidence, and a closing statement. Then, the mediator usually meets with each party and their respective attorneys separately. While separated, the mediation professional will try to get the parties closer together on the amount for settlement. Note that all of the proceedings that take place during mediation are confidential.
If you do reach an agreement through mediation, the parties will sign all essential documents and their lawyers will enter the proper order in court. However, mediation is not a win-loss scenario. If you can’t resolve your dispute, you’ll go back to court and continue with the litigation process.
Contact an Ocala, FL Personal Injury Lawyer Regarding the Mediation Process
If you want to know more about the mediation process and the benefits it offers, please contact Piccin & Glynn. Our team can set up a free consultation to explain the proceedings and help you understand what to expect. You can call 352-581-6174 or visit our website to schedule your appointment at our Ocala, FL office.