Mediation and personal injury lawsuits

by Benjamin Treviño | April 24th, 2024 | Blog

More often than not, Texas judges will require the parties in a personal injury lawsuit to attend mediation before proceeding to a full-blown trial. The parties are not required to reach a mediated settlement, but more than 90% of personal injury disputes are resolved in mediation.

How does mediation work?

Unlike a trial, mediation is an informal meeting involving the plaintiff, the defendant, their respective attorneys, and a neutral mediator. The mediator (usually an attorney or judge) presides over the meeting.

The process begins with each party presenting its version of the case to the mediator, after which the two sides retire to separate rooms.

The mediator will then meet separately with the plaintiff and their attorney to find out what they want in order to settle the case. The mediator takes that information to the defendant and their attorney who will either accept the plaintiff’s terms, or make a counter offer.

The mediator will go back and forth between both rooms in an effort to reach a settlement that both parties will accept. If an agreement is reached, the defendant agrees to compensate the plaintiff according to the terms of the settlement, and the plaintiff agrees to drop the lawsuit and any further claims against the defendant.

Is it mandatory to reach a settlement?

As stated above, neither party is legally required to settle in mediation. If no agreement is reached, the parties return to court, and the judge will set a trial date. Since the mediation process is confidential, none of the discussions are disclosed during the trial.

Who pays for the mediation?

The mediator’s fees are usually divided equally between mediating parties, unless parties agree in writing to a different arrangement. Any unused funds will be applied to any outstanding case fees.

Am I required to have an attorney at mediation?

Plaintiffs are not required to have their attorney present during mediation, but just as it is not a good idea to represent yourself in court, it is not a good idea to represent yourself in mediation either.

That’s why it’s essential to hire a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney like J. Gonzalez to represent your interests. The J. Gonzalez Law Firm has helped thousands of injured victims recover compensation for their injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other losses both in mediation and in court.

To speak with one of our personal injury lawyers about mediation or any other aspect of your case, you can contact us via this website, or by calling 1-800-CAR-CRASH.


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