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The Mediation Process in the Personal Injury Case

A person who has suffered an injury due to the negligence or intentional harmful act of another may have conflicting feelings about enduring the rigors of the legal process to obtain compensation for losses. This is understandable; such litigation can be expensive, stressful and time-consuming. More people are turning toward the mediation process to settle their personal injury case. This procedure is becoming a valuable alternative to fighting it out in court.

What is Mediation?

Essentially, mediation is the process by which disputes between people are negotiated through a third party. In the best-case scenario, the solution to the dispute is one on which both parties can agree. The mediation process is voluntary and usually occurs before a lawsuit is filed.

Both parties need to request mediation and be willing to go through the process. The settlement reached through mediation also needs to be accepted by both sides. If no agreement can be reached, the parties resume the positions they had before mediation.

The Mediator’s Role

The mediator is the third party involved in this procedure. He or she is a neutral voice in the discussion offering no decisions or opinions. The mediator helps guide the process by interpreting information for the two disputing parties. He or she also makes concerns understandable for both parties, defines obstacles and clarifies the issues.

In addition to overseeing the process, other responsibilities of the mediator may include offering less apparent answers to the challenges presented by both sides and helping individuals acknowledge unrealistic expectations. The mediator may also assist with writing up the agreement between the two parties.

Using the Mediation Process for Resolution of the Issues

The mediation process is not appropriate in every personal injury case. When it is important to establish who is at fault for causing the injuries and when a disputing party feels the need for vindication, mediation will not suffice. On the other hand, for those seeking an amicable resolution to the issues at hand, this alternative affords a much simpler path to a suitable settlement.

California has recently passed a law intended to protect those who choose mediation. Lawyers are mandated to ensure that their clients understand the implications of the state’s legal protections during the mediation process. This is important for personal injury cases. If the mediation process breaks down and a settlement is not reached, the discussions held in mediation cannot be used in future legal proceedings. The mediator’s notes cannot be submitted as evidence nor may he or she testify regarding any communication during the mediation process.

Mediation is a simpler, less stressful alternative to formal litigation. Experienced legal representation may help ensure that your best interests are upheld. The Maison Law Office, serving the areas of Visalia, Merced, Bakersfield, and Fresno is committed to providing client-centered legal services with integrity and excellence. Call on us to provide the representation you need for the mediation process. Contact our office by calling 559-203-3333 or contact us via email at martin@maisonlaw.comfor more information or to schedule an appointment for a consultation.


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