Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

Mediation in Personal Injury Cases

Most personal injury cases settle before trial. This avoids the uncertainty of a jury trial and saves time and money. A popular method of settling personal injury cases is through mediation. In this blog, I’ll give a brief overview of personal injury mediations.

A mediation is non-binding.
The first important thing to know is that a mediation is non-binding. The parties are not required to settle at mediation and still have the right to a trial if the case doesn’t settle. For this reason, mediations are informal. No evidence is presented, no arguments are made, and the mediator does not render a decision or final ruling.

The parties choose the mediator.
Regarding the mediator, this is a person the parties choose to facilitate the mediation. The mediator can be anyone, though we prefer someone with plenty of experience on both sides of the lawsuit fence, like a retired judge. The mediator’s job is to try and get the parties to agree on a settlement. She or he does this by suggesting moves and explaining the rationale behind the other side’s positions. Most often the parties split the cost of the mediator’s fee.

Mediations take all day.
The mediation usually takes all day. At first, the parties meet together in a big conference room for introductions. Then, they split into different rooms and the negotiations begin. The mediator then goes back and forth between the rooms with offers and counter-offers until the case either settles, or the parties hit an impasse.

If the parties reach an agreement, the mediator will prepare a settlement memorandum outlining the basic terms of the deal. Then, in the days following, the paperwork will be drafted and the details will get ironed out. Once that’s done, then the funds are delivered and then distributed.

If you have a personal injury case and are curious about the mediation process, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time. We are Kansas City personal injury lawyers and have done hundreds of mediations.