Will Mediation Hurt My Personal Injury Lawsuit?
September 20, 2017
The short answer here is no. Mediation is a legal component of the civil court system. When your attorney files a civil lawsuit on your behalf, the process of litigation begins. Under tort law, you are seeking restitution for a civil wrong that unfairly caused you to suffer harm. The goal is to establish legal liability for the person or entity that was negligent or acted in an unreasonable manner. Personal injury lawsuits include all negligence cases as well as intentional wrongs that resulted in personal loss or damages.
Once your Gainesville personal injury attorney files a claim, the defendant is not required to take any action until properly served. At that time, they will have a designated period of time in which to respond. In most cases, the defendant's insurance carrier will file a denial. This does not mean the defendant is claiming your allegations to be false, it is a common step that requires your attorney to document and present proof of your claim.
During the discovery process, depositions will likely be taken from all parties, including any eyewitnesses. Each person's statement is made under oath with a court reporter taking the testimony so it can be presented to a judge or jury, if a settlement is not reached. Both the defendant and plaintiff's attorneys will seek to learn as much as possible about the evidence that each side is presenting. Most accident and injury lawsuits are resolved without going to trial.
Mediation is a form of collaborative law and an alternative method of dispute resolution that the civil court system encourages and may legally order prior to a personal injury case proceeding to the courtroom. If a settlement is not reached, nothing said at the mediation hearing can be used against either party during the subsequent trial. So, participating in mediation cannot hurt your case. It does allow for collaboration through an independent mediator who will encourage both sides to reach a mutual agreement for a fair and just settlement.
To learn more about mediation, contact a personal injury trial attorney with Schackow & Mercadante. Our firm helps people who have been injured or killed in car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents and other types of accidental injury or wrongful death that occur because of someone else's negligence.
NOTE: It is never advisable to negotiate a personal injury settlement with the defendant's insurance company without seeking the advice of legal counsel.