Mediation is a process where the two sides of a personal injury claim agree to use a mediator – a neutral third party – to try to reach an agreement about the case.
In Iowa, mediation often occurs to try to settle your Iowa personal injury case before it goes to trial. This is done because it takes a lot of money and time to prepare for trial. If your case can be settled before trial, it means you get your settlement money faster.
What Happens Before Your Personal Injury Mediation
Before the mediation, your attorney and the attorney for the other side will agree on a mediator, as well as a place, date, and time for the mediation. You will need to be present on the day of the mediation, as all parties will be working to settle your claim that day.
Before the mediation begins, your attorney will meet with you to discuss what to expect during the mediation and answer any questions you have.
During the Personal Injury Mediation
Once everyone is at the site, the two sides will separate into different rooms. The mediator will move back and forth between the rooms to carry information and discussion between the parties.
While the mediator is in your room, they will ask questions about your case and try to learn more so they can persuade the other side to pay you more money. They will also point out any weaknesses in your case to you. Whatever you say to the mediator is confidential and does not have to be shared with the other side if you don’t want it to be shared.
After the mediator meets with you, they will move rooms and speak with the other side, gathering information and pointing out strengths and weaknesses in their case just as they did with you. They will attempt to keep both sides talking about – and compromising on – issues in the case in an attempt to reach a settlement that day.
If a settlement is reached, both sides will sign a written agreement that lays out the terms of the settlement. Attorneys will file paperwork with the court to pay the settlement, and your attorney will file a release agreeing that the case has been settled.
If a settlement is not reached, that doesn’t mean your case automatically goes to a jury trial. Your attorney and the attorney for the other side may continue to negotiate your case through phone calls or emails. Sometimes a second mediation can be scheduled if both parties agree to it.
How Mediation Can Benefit You
One of the best parts of mediation is that you, and only you, decide if the offer the defense is making is one you’re willing to take. Your attorney will be there to advise you and explain how much of the settlement money will end up in your pocket, but the decision is ultimately yours.
Rest assured that your skilled Iowa personal injury lawyer is working to settle your claim during the mediation (and after, if necessary) to get you a fair amount of compensation.
RSH Legal fights for fairness for their clients all through the personal injury process. If you’d like our help, call 1-800-433-0283 today.