10605 Judicial Drive, Suite A-4 | Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Mediation in a Personal Injury Case
In the current situation of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the courts have put the future of Jury trials in question. This an excellent time to consider alternative dispute resolution options, in particular Mediation. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process wherein a neutral third party, the mediator, facilitates a discussion between the parties to a lawsuit to promote the voluntary resolution of disputes before trial.
Mediation v. Trial
Mediation is different from trial in the sense that mediation is an informal process and trial is a formal process. In a personal injury mediation, both sides gather at a designated location and it is common for the parties to start together, but to quickly separate into separate rooms. This separation facilitates open discussion between the counsel and their parties with the mediator to assist in guiding the settlement negotiations. It is an excellent opportunity to discuss the positives and negatives of your case and get an idea of where the Defense is on their position of settlement. The mediator then moves between the rooms and the parties in hopes of bringing both parties toward common ground in order to resolve the lawsuit before trial.
It is important to know that all communications during a mediation are confidential. Should you be unable to reach an agreement at Mediation, the Mediator cannot then come to court and disclose what information was disclosed to them at the mediation. This is to encourage open communication during the course of the mediation. Furthermore, offers of settlement and discussions regarding settlement are not admissible at trial, which helps promote cooperation at mediation (Virginia Code §8.01-581.22).
It is very important to note that the mediator does not have any power to force a decision on either side. They cannot force you to accept an offer and they cannot force the other side to offer a set amount of money. This means that the parties have control over the outcome. In a mediation, the parties make the decision on whether to resolve the dispute prior to trial. On the other hand, at trial, twelve jurors make the decision on the outcome of the case and the parties have no control over the result. At mediation, the parties are also fully aware of the amount of money, which will be awarded to the plaintiff and how much money has to be paid back. At trial, the jury is not told the effects of their verdict and is not told that the plaintiff may not receive the entire amount of the damages they award.
Mediation is not always successful, however, over the past decade, it has become more common for lawsuits to resolve at mediation than proceed to trial. Mediation merely provides both parties with an additional opportunity to resolve the case before trial.
The Attorneys at Pikrallidas and Associates have been involved in many meditations over the years and this has resulted in millions of dollars in settlements for our injured clients. Please call the Attorneys at Pikrallidas & Associates Today to discuss options for mediation on your cases today.
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Pikrallidas & Associates is located in Fairfax, VI and serves clients in and around Fairfax, West Mclean, Oakton, Merrifield, Vienna, Annandale, Dunn Loring, Clifton, Fairfax Station, Mount Vernon, Falls Church, Reston, Chantilly, Mc Lean, Greenway, Centreville, Springfield, Herndon, Fairfax County, Fairfax City County, Falls Church City County and Manassas Park City County.
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