Do you think personal injury cases should be settled at mediation? Let’s be honest, tiring, time-consuming, and difficult court battles have been a part of almost all the personal injury cases.
These hearings take their toll on the claimants as they are forced to face the defendant. This is hard for the claimant as it will make them relive the unpleasant past. The society is changing and so is the law. Luckily, for the claimants there are many alternates to court proceedings.
The best alternative is mediation when it comes to personal injury cases. Every legal practitioner knows that mediation is the best way to display their client’s case before a trial. There are many cases that should be settled through mediation but are not settled. This often results in frustration.
Want to make the most of your mediation? In this article, we have mentioned simple steps that should be followed to increase the chances of closing the case.
Submitting the Brief Early
One of the first things you need to do is submit the brief early, at least a month in advance. There are many mediators who submit it for six weeks in advance. This is because the defense will take plenty of time to evaluate the case and then get ready for the settlement.
When deciding the amount of money to be paid, many people of different levels are considered. You have to keep in mind that the more notice the defendant has of the claimant’s contentions, the better the carrier can evaluate the claims. The carrier will evaluate by passing on the plaintiff’s brief (that should be well-written and comprehensive) through the proper chain of command.
Start with a Reasonable Demand
The plaintiff can state any number they wish to get. But it is advised not to do so. This is because there can be plenty of problems related to starting a demand with a very high number. Some of the problems might include:
- The other party of the case will not take you seriously.
- In order to settle the case, you will have to decrease the number.
- Your client might love that number and they will not settle for less.
- There is a chance that the other party might not even be worried about making a case against that number.
- It might take a lot of time getting both parties to reach a reasonable starting point.
So, it is recommended to avoid all this trouble and start the case with a reasonable demand. You don’t have to worry about the number, the lawyer will know how to set the right demand.
Preparation is the Key
Another step that is crucial for making the most of the personal injury case is preparation. You will have to prepare your client for the court as they have not attended mediations. You, on the other hand, have plenty of experience as you have attended numerous mediations.
Since your client might have not attended mediation at all, they will not be sure what will happen on that day. First, you have to tell them that they will have to wait a long time to hear what the other party has to say. Another thing you need to tell them is that the demands exchanged will be offensive or disappointing.
Moreover, not only this, you will have to prepare them fully. You should tell your client what they should wear. It is recommended to tell your client that they will be asked questions. An important thing to keep in mind for you is that the more your client is prepared, the better they can participate in the proceeding.
Every legal representative knows joint sessions are one of the most powerful moments in a case. The reason is that the claimant can shed light on their losses in a better way. So, it is better to prepare her for that.
Make the Best Decision for Your Client
During mediation, both parties develop trust and engage in the process. Sometimes, lawyers unconsciously stop their clients from engaging or trusting the mediator. There will come a point where you will have to talk to your client about the demand, value of the offer made, and risks of not settling.
In some cases, the lawyer might jump in and argue with you. Though this might seem right to some; it is not the best option. This is because there is a chance that the client might not trust your intentions.
Instead of this, the lawyer should help the client develop trust with you. The lawyer must allow you to explain your concerns to the client and even agree on some of the risks.
Pay More Weightage to your Decision
When it comes to groupthink, the defense will be most vulnerable. For those who don’t know, groupthink is a process where the case is evaluated in a certain way and then the decision of the defense is reaffirmed without taking fresh arguments from the plaintiff. Though most cases fall into predictable categories, sometimes, the claimants have something new.
To make the right decision, every mediator should make the decision on their own. However, this should be done after considering the evidence. You as a mediator, should not give up your beliefs just because others think differently. You don’t want the case to go to trial and you certainly don’t want to hear a convincing argument in the trial.
When looking for the best Sacramento CA Personal Injury Mediator, (mention your name) is the right choice. I have been helping many people settle personal injury cases. During the settlement of the case, I focus on sustaining relationships and building trust that will help in reaching an agreement that is acceptable to both parties. With the experience of many years and extensive knowledge about the laws, I will make sure the case is settled as quickly as possible. If you want to have more information, feel free to get in touch.