Mediation in a Texas Personal Injury CaseHouston Legal News
The majority of personal injury claims settle out of court, but the process of settling is far from straightforward. Texas personal injury lawyers often use a form of alternative dispute resolution commonly referred to as mediation.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a process where an impartial third party facilitates communication between the involved parties toward reconciliation, settlement, or understanding. In most cases, the mediator is a licensed attorney with experience in the subject. The mediator does not render a decision but instead listens to the problem in order to help the parties reach a voluntary agreement.
Mediation usually begins with a joint session where the mediator gathers all parties in a single area, introductions are made, and the rules and procedures are explained. The attorneys of all the involved parties may choose to provide an opening statement outline the issues and the strengths of their case. Then, the mediator will lead the parties into separate rooms and go between these rooms in order to learn more about the case and convey settlement proposals.
Before 2020, mediation usually took place in the mediator’s office. However, currently, most mediators conduct mediations virtually through video conferencing software such as Zoom.
Should I Mediate?
Nearly all judges require parties to mediate a case before a contested hearing. Even when mediation is not required, most parties choose to mediate their personal injury case prior to trial.
There are some advantages to mediation. Firstly, because attorneys usually have many open cases simultaneously, mediation offers the parties the opportunity to concentrate on identifying and resolving any issues with the case. Secondly, the communications at mediation are confidential, allowing the parties to be open and honest. Thirdly, mediation provides the parties some input in the outcome of the case before a final decision is reached by a judge or jury.
Do I Have to Settle at Mediation?
If the parties choose to settle, the mediator will draft a mediated settlement agreement and ask the parties and their lawyers to sign. After that, the mediated agreement is valid and enforceable. Many mediators may encourage the parties to settle, but the mediator cannot mandate that the parties settle.
The mediator will spend most of their time going between the rooms of the involved parties in order to reach an agreement. Each of the moves made by the mediator, in theory, should nudge the parties closer toward an agreement, but not all cases settle at mediation. When the parties fail to settle during mediation, they are in the same situation they would have been if they chose to forego mediation.
Car Accidents in Houston
In most cases, Texas car crash victims are injured by reckless or negligent drivers, and the responsible party can be made to cover the damages resulting from the collision. For over a decade, Connolly Law has helped car crash victims obtain the compensation they deserve. Our qualified Houston car crash attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected under the law. Contact our offices today at 877-CONNLAW to discuss your case today.