Personal Injury Mediation
Why mediate in a Personal Injury Claim? People often pursue the claims in court using lawyers. In serious injury claims this can take years. The outcome is uncertain and this causes financial and psychological distress.
A mediation meeting can be organised in a matter of days (even when a court action is running at the same time) – no need to wait years for the judge. The mediator, together with parties’ lawyers, helps ensure the right people are there – including doctors, surgeons, care providers, accountants, actuaries as well as the injured person, the people responsible for injury and their insurers. This can enable settlement to be reached to everyone’s satisfaction on the day.
Mediation saves years of waiting. Injured people tell their story; get it off their chests, so they can move on. They are in control of whether to settle or not – their case isn’t settled by a judge, but by them!
Mediation can save all parties including insurers, solicitors and commercial case funders significant amounts of money in court dues and crippling legal cost and time-everyone is a winner!
The role of the mediator is to help all the people involved (including the injured party and the insurers): –
- to keep talking and negotiating
- avoid personality clashes
- break deadlock and impasse
- not to walk away
- try and get a solution that works for everyone
Mediation is confidential; conversations, documents and evidence adduced in the room, stay in the room, unless by prior agreement.
There are usually difficulties and weaknesses on both sides in most personal injury court cases-experienced lawyers know these will eventually be exposed in court. It is better to air these difficulties in the safe, risk-free, environment of mediation than in open court.
Medical experts, and other witnesses, often have significant differences of opinion and recollection-they can be present in mediation so their evidence can be exchanged in dialogue as each explains the basis of their view, which can then be challenged by the other. This informs both sides, helps better legal advice to be formulated and reduces the financial risk of contested court proceedings for all. This evidence exchange often takes place in private caucus, in small groups, enabling better management.