Many, if not most, significant injury cases will end up in mediation. Attorneys and parties will voluntarily submit cases to mediation; often the judge will refer a case to mediation. If your case is being mediated, you may be unclear about what this involves, or what is expected of you at the mediation. Mediation is defined as "the attempt to settle a legal dispute through active participation of a third party (mediator) who works to find points of agreement and make those in conflict agree on a fair result." (Law.com Online Legal Dictionary). What this means in practice, in an injury case, is that you and your attorney will meet with the opposing attorney, and usually a representative from the defendant's insurance company, to settle the case. The mediator chairs the discussions.
Mediation statistics reveal that the process often succeeds more than 80% of the time, depending upon subject matter. However, mediation often fails for the simple reason the plaintiff is not properly advised of what to expect at the mediation. The plaintiff at a personal injury mediation should expect the following:
Mediation has revolutionized the legal system by empowering litigants to decide the outcome of their own cases. The jury doesn't know you, doesn't know your case, and they don't have to live with the outcome. You, not they, should decide your case. Mediation is your path, as long as you know what to expect from the process.