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Need-to-Knows on Personal Injury Mediation in Chicago IL

Personal injury mediation in Chicago IL has been recognized as an effective alternative to litigation.  However, this is a relatively new addition.  Individuals who may participate in personal injury mediation in Chicago IL should be aware of the following: 

Timing of Mediation

Mediation typically occurs after discovery is completed in a case.  Discovery is the process of determining the information that the other side plans to use at trial.  It is often helpful to wait for this time so that the parties have all of the necessary information to make an informed decision.  However, it can be requested at any time before a decision is made in a case, including before a lawsuit is filed.  In some cases, it is completed immediately before the trial commences.

Parties Involved in Mediation

The parties to the lawsuit participate in mediation.  Additionally, each party may be represented by legal counsel.  The insurance adjuster handling the claim is often at mediation.  If there is another party that is necessary to bind the parties to a decision, such as a business partner, director or spouse, that person may also be at mediation.  The parties are often segregated in separate rooms.

Goal of Mediation

The goal of mediation is for the parties to reach a settlement even if negotiations have failed up to this point in time.

Preparation for Mediation

Prior to mediation, the parties should properly prepare for the case.  The personal injury lawyer should be prepared to take the case to trial if an adequate settlement is not offered.  Preparation includes gathering evidence that weighs in favor of the party’s position, preparing a mediation brief and discussing the process with the client before mediation.