When many of us think of mediation, we think of family law cases. But the truth is, most Los Angeles personal injury cases (I.e. car accident) cases end up in mediation before they ever go to trial. So what exactly is mediation and what can you expect? Read on for the answers.
What is mediation?
According to the American Bar Association, mediation is “a private process where a neutral third person called a mediator helps the parties discuss and try to resolve the dispute. The parties have the opportunity to describe the issues, discuss their interests, understandings, and feelings; provide each other with information and explore ideas for the resolution of the dispute.” Your personal injury lawyer will be there by your side, advocating for your best interests. Your lawyer will go through the mediator to present your case and while the mediator does not have the power to make a decision for the parties, he can help the parties find a resolution that is mutually acceptable.
Is mediation mandatory?
The Los Angeles court system is greatly backlogged with criminal and civil cases. As a result, many judges in personal injury / auto accident cases mandate, or require, that cases go to mediation. While a judge can order that parties attend mediation, a judge cannot force parties to come to an agreement in mediation — that part is voluntary. The only people who can resolve the dispute in mediation are the parties themselves. If parties cannot come to an agreement in mediation, the case generally proceeds to trial.
How long does mediation take?
The length of the mediation depends on the case and the parties involved, but expect to be in mediation anywhere from a few hours to a full day. However, a number of factors can influence the length and success of a mediation, so discuss your situation with your attorney.
If you have been involved in an auto accident in Los Angeles, you may be wondering if you should file a lawsuit to recover financial compensation for your injuries. For a free, no obligation consultation, contact the experienced accident attorneys at Ghozland Law Firm today.