Mediation + personal injury: what to expect

Samuel W. Hughes

Author: Samuel W. Hughes

POST DATE: 11.25.20
Ccha  Personal Injury

If you’ve been in a personal injury accident, mediation may offer a more cost-efficient, speedy and generally less stressful resolution to your case. CCHA is here to help prepare you for what to expect and how to get the most out of your mediation experience.

In mediation, the parties involved in a dispute are guided by a trained, neutral third party (the mediator), to help find a mutually-satisfying solution to the conflict at hand. Mediation is largely voluntary, until a dispute becomes a personal injury lawsuit; both parties must request it and a dispute settlement is only reached if and when both sides are in agreement.

The role of the mediator is not to make decisions or offer opinions; it is to facilitate a discussion between both parties resulting in a mutual agreement to settle the claim.

Ccha november 2020 mediation twitter

What to Expect

Generally informal, mediation is the time and place for parties to express their stance and view on the matter at hand. Anything said during mediation is private, thus not a matter of public record, in an effort to promote a genuine discussion of the issue with the hopes of finding a positive outcome without the high costs of litigation and court intervention.

After agreeing to participate in mediation, attorneys for both parties agree on several factors, including but not limited to who to utilize as the mediator, where to meet and other logistical details.

Here is the common process to expect during mediation:

  • Each party, in the presence of the other party, speaks to the mediator and makes their opening statements.
  • Each party gets to speak directly to the other, with the mediator facilitating the discussion when necessary.
  • Each party gets to speak to the mediator alone, as well.

The mediator uses information gathered from both parties — without divulging information shared in confidence— to influence each party to change positions on the matter to the extent an agreed-upon outcome can be reached.

Agreements reached during mediation are signed, thus making the agreement enforceable in the court of law. If a solution is not agreed upon, the case will either proceed to court, or if litigation is already pending, the case will move forward as planned.

How to Prepare for Mediation

To help increase the likelihood of mediation success, there are a series of steps you can take to best prepare for mediation, as follows:

  • Make notes on what issues you find to be of most importance and priorities you want to discuss;
  • Prepare for the mediation with your attorney so that your expectations are known before mediation;
  • Gather and bring any and all evidence you wish to be considered in your case;
  • To the best of your ability, control your emotions and listen carefully.

CCHA provides alternative dispute resolution services in a variety of contexts. CCHA mediators are registered to assist with both civil and family law cases, and have experience mediating disputes regarding labor and employment; personal injury; divorce, custody, and modification; and commercial disputes. Our practitioners excel at facilitating the exploration of alternatives to foster a mutually agreeable settlement for the parties.