Mediation is a popular tool used by lawyers to settle personal injury cases in Ontario. In some jurisdictions (Toronto, Windsor and Ottawa) mediating a personal injury case is mandatory before it can proceed to trial. The Insurance Act also contains provisions requiring mediation for an accident benefit dispute in Ontario. Some Courts have even found that a car insurer’s refusal to participate in a mediation is bad faith claims handling and awarded the Plaintiff damages in this regard.
Whether or not a mediation is mandatory; this does not change what a mediation is, and how mediation works.
If you have never mediated a case before, don’t worry. You’re not alone. 99% of our clients have never participated in a formal, legal, mediation before. BUT, 100% of our clients have participated in some form of informal mediation at one point or another in their lives!! Don’t believe me?
Ever had a dispute with your spouse or family member and you needed to call in a close friend to chat with the parties and help solve the problem? That’s mediation. When your Uncle Larry is talking to your Uncle Ned, did you need to call in Grandma to help cooler heads prevail? That’s mediation too!
Mediation is a form of dispute resolution. The nature of the dispute doesn’t matter. If there’s conflict; mediation can help resolve that conflict. Just because the dispute resolution technique isn’t labelled as a mediation, doesn’t mean it’s not.