Preparing for Personal Injury Mediation

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Posted on Friday, January 5th, 2024 at 9:00 am    

A personal injury attorney and client preparing for mediation in a personal injury case.

Are you struggling to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company in a Chicago personal injury case? If so, mediation may be the answer. According to the American Bar Association (ABA), meditation involves a neutral third party helping you and other parties resolve a dispute.

Knowing how to prepare for mediation will help you make the most of the opportunity to resolve your case. Being prepared can also help you feel more confident in the strength of your arguments. For additional support, contact our team online or call Wallace Miller for a free consultation.

Understanding the Mediation Process in Chicago Personal Injury Cases

Although the specifics can vary, personal injury mediation usually involves:

  • All parties involved in the dispute (and/or their representatives) meeting in a neutral location
  • All parties signing confidentiality agreements
  • The mediator introducing themselves and the parties involved
  • The mediator describing the basics of the mediator process
  • All parties making opening statements in which they explain their sides of the argument
  • The mediator meeting with each party separately and facilitating back-and-forth discussions

The role of the mediator is to help you and the liable party or their representative agree to fair settlement terms. A mediator’s job isn’t to recommend terms or to encourage you to sign an agreement. If mediation isn’t successful, you can file a lawsuit to seek damages in court.

Preparing for Mediation in a Chicago Personal Injury Case

If you’re unsure how mediation works or how to prepare for mediation, start with the following steps.

  • Preparing your argument – Mediation allows you to present your case in a setting where the goal is to negotiate productively. When delivering your opening statement, you want to be certain it’s thorough. Take the time to review and revise your statement before mediation to avoid accidentally omitting anything.
  • Gathering evidence – Being able to cite evidence allows you to present an argument more persuasively during the mediation process. Gather the evidence you submitted with your initial claim and confirm whether you’ll be able to reference it during mediation.
  • Dressing professionally – One of the many benefits of mediation is that it gives you the chance to resolve a case out of court. However, you should still dress in business or business casual attire for a mediation session. It may not be a trial, but it’s an important process. Dressing properly can signal to all involved that you take it seriously.
  • Controlling your emotions – The role of a mediator is to help you and the other parties involved in your case overcome an impasse. However, they can’t magically eliminate any of the tension that’s developed throughout your case. During the mediation process, you may find the other party is making statements or arguments you disagree with. Allowing your emotions to take over in these circumstances can prevent you from reaping the benefits of mediation. Thus, you should emotionally prepare to hear statements you might take issue with.

Preparing for mediation may also be easier with the assistance of a Chicago personal injury attorney. A lawyer can even help you determine whether mediation is necessary.

The Benefits of Mediation in Chicago Personal Injury Cases

A personal injury lawyer and client at a desk preparing for personal injury mediation.If you know how to prepare for mediation, you’re more likely to experience its benefits. They include:

  • Saving time and money – Mediation may help you resolve a case without the cost of the time and money you would spend if you went to trial.
  • Exercising control over your case’s outcome – If you go to trial, the judge or jury may not decide in your favor. You wouldn’t receive any compensation if this were to happen. Through mediation, you may have more control over your case’s outcome.
  • Reducing stress – You may consider mediation when settlement negotiations have become too stressful. Presenting your arguments in a mediation setting may be easier than other negotiation methods.
  • Keeping everything confidential – The details of a trial are a matter of public record. Mediation is a confidential process. Thus, you may consider it if you want your case’s details to remain private.

Just remember to keep your rights in mind when preparing for mediation. Neither the mediator nor the other party should coerce you into signing an agreement if you aren’t comfortable with its terms. Mediation is not legally binding unless and until you sign a contract.

Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney

Explaining how to prepare for mediation and walking you through how the mediation process works is just one of many ways a lawyer can help with your case. At Wallace Miller, a Chicago personal injury attorney is prepared to offer the dedicated representation you need now. Learn more about what we can do for you by reviewing our successful cases, contacting us online today, or calling us at (312) 261-6193 for a free case review.


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