Warring parties in a personal injury case often fail to see eye to eye. When this happens, they can turn to mediation to try and find a middle ground. Mediation could be voluntary or mandated by the court, depending on whether the case is an insurance claim lawsuit. The process is usually regulated by an impartial third party, otherwise called a mediator.
What is the role of a mediator? Generally, a mediator seeks to help the parties involved fashion an amicable solution. They have no power to render a resolution. This article discusses their exact roles.
Have you been injured in an accident? Do you have questions about mediation? A Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers can help.
What Is Mediation in a Personal Injury Case?
Mediation, before a personal injury lawsuit is filed, is entirely voluntary. Both parties agree to discuss the case in the presence of a neutral mediator until a resolution is made. If the parties fail to agree, they usually revert to where they were before mediation. Mediation resolutions are not binding unless both parties agree on them.
During the process, the mediator facilitates discussions. They do not give opinions or make decisions on the matters being discussed. They will usually:
- Allow each party to speak to them in the presence of the other party.
- Facilitate the conversation as one party speaks directly to the other
- Speak to each party in private
Once this is done, the mediator will use the information gathered to urge both sides toward a resolution. This is one without revealing information divulged to the mediator during private sessions. Both parties can also present opinions and facts in any manner they deem fit.
Mediation before a lawsuit is an informal process. It is designed to provide the involved parties with an environment for discussion without the burden of legal procedures. Essentially, nothing said during mediation can be used against the parties later.
Who Is a Mediator?
As mentioned, a mediator doesn’t decide a personal injury case. Both parties will usually agree to hire and pay a mediator. The mediator could be an attorney or other professional who is considered unbiased, impartial, and neutral.
An attorney mediator cannot act as a representative of any party involved. They also cannot offer their legal opinion about aspects of the case. Due to this impartiality, they create a safe environment for negotiation.
Essentially, a mediator is:
- A negotiation facilitator
- An intermediary tasked with placing both parties in the best position to reach a resolution.
- An impartial confidant during private sessions with each party
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
What is the role of a mediator? A mediator has no authority to declare a resolution to a conflict. If the mediator is an attorney, they are also not expected to offer any legal advice during mediation. Their main obligation is to facilitate discussions between the conflicting parties so they can reach a solution.
Mediation has its benefits and demerits in every personal injury case. An experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers can help you determine whether mediation is a good option for you. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.