99% of personal injury cases settle without going to trial. Between the time a notice of the claim is given, right up to the commencement of trial, there are many opportunities for your personal injury lawyer, the insurance lawyer, and the insurance adjuster to settle your case.
One of those big opportunities to settle your case is through mediation. Mediation presents a great opportunity to do so because for one entire day, all of the lawyers and adjusters set aside their other files and focus solely on getting your case settled.
Mediation is not a trial. Mediation is not an arbitration. Mediation does not involve a Judge or Jury making rulings on your case. Nobody “wins” at mediation. Mediation involves compromise.
Mediation is a confidential, without prejudice settlement meeting between the parties which is presided over by a neutral third party mediator. The mediator can be a retired judge, a lawyer or a non lawyer who now work as a mediator. Having a mediator with expertise in the area of law being litigated is important. So, if the mediator is a retired family lawyer, but they are mediating a long term disability claim, the mediator may not have the requisite expertise to get the job done.
Plaintiff personal injury lawyers, insurance defence lawyers, and insurance adjusters attend at mediations frequently. Plaintiffs (ie injured accident victims and long term disability claimants) do not.
For most Plaintiffs, they may have heard of the term mediation before, or they may have participated in a mediation in a different sort of case (family, work, union, etc.); but their personal injury mediation is likely the first time they have participated in a personal injury mediation. The process can be intimidating. After all, it’s likely your first time going through this and there is a lot at stake (your case and livelihood).