How to Prepare for Personal Injury Mediation

Parties involved in personal injury mediation are often recipients of important benefits.  They can often significantly decrease the amount that they have to pay attorneys for legal expenses, and their attorneys benefit by receiving a decent amount of compensation for a limited investment in time.  However, there are steps that parties and their attorneys can take to better prepare for personal injury mediation.

Identify Interests

While there may be a large discussion on settlement value, the injured party may have other interests that matter just as much or even more than a monetary payout.  For example, he or she may want the other party to take steps to prevent a similar and foreseeable accident from occurring in the future.  A defendant may be more interested in avoiding negative publicity than saving as much money as possible.  When parties and attorneys can better identify their interests before mediation, a skilled mediator can guide the parties toward meeting both sets of interests.

Gather Proof

In a litigious society, insurance companies may be less likely to settle cases if they believe the claim was fabricated.  Both parties should assemble as much proof as they have to support their version of events before the mediation session.  For example, the plaintiff may assemble medical records that were incurred immediately after the accident and for the weeks before mediation.  The defendant can review footage of the store where a slip and fall occurred or try to acquire surveillance of a motor vehicle accident.  The mediator can funnel this information back and forth as the parties instruct.