Tips for Going Through Mediation for Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you have recently had an injury due to someone else's negligence, you'll likely start off by going through mediation. This is when you try to reach an agreement with the responsible party's insurance provider with the goal to reach a settlement without having to go to court. Here are some tips to help with going through the mediation process. 

Always Be Respectful

One thing to remember about the mediation process is that you are trying to be friendly with the defendant to reach an agreement. As much as you may be upset about the situation surrounding your injury, it's important that you always be respectful when dealing with it as a legal matter. You do not want the other party to become combative toward you because it will likely mean you will both have to go to court to get the matter resolved. This can be a problem because you lose control of what the outcome could be and put it in the hands of a judge. 

Use The Time To Learn About The Defendant's Argument

While most cases are settled in mediation, it is possible that your case will go to trial. Mediation gives you the ability to learn what the defense will use for their arguments to justify their settlement offer. You can often learn if they have a strong case or not based on the evidence they are presenting. This will give you the upper hand while in mediation because your lawyer can be more aggressive about what they ask for if it feels like the opposing party doesn't have a solid defensive argument. 

Pick The Mediator That You Like

Know that you do have a choice about what mediator you use for the mediation process. It's important to talk to your lawyer about the mediator since they may have a preference based on past experiences or not. While mediators are designed to be impartial, it's possible that your lawyer has seen a history with certain mediators that let them know how easy they are to work with. That's why it's worth the research when picking a mediator and rejecting those that do not seem like a good fit for you.

Decide On Giving An Opening Statement Or Not

You'll likely be given the choice about if you want to make an opening statement at the beginning of the mediation process. Know that this is something you do not have to do. If you don't feel comfortable talking about the accident, your lawyer can prepare a mediation brief, which is a summary of the accident and what you are looking to recover during mediation. 

For more information, contact a local personal injury lawyer to learn more.