If you are filing an Oregon personal injury lawsuit, it is important to prepare for each stage of your case. In some lawsuits, the injured plaintiff and the defendant reach a settlement outside of court and do not have to enter the trial. You may attempt to reach a settlement with the at-fault party by entering negotiations before or after you file the lawsuit. You may also enter a separate process known as mediation, which is overseen by a third-party mediator.
Mediation is an alternative conflict resolution process. Many legal proceedings include a mediation component, including personal injury lawsuits. Sometimes, a court requires two parties to enter mediation before trial. In other cases, it is a voluntary process. During mediation, you and your personal injury attorney will meet with a neutral third party who will oversee the process.
In many cases, the at-fault party and his or her attorney is present at the mediation as well. All three parties will determine the time, date, and location of the mediation. The goal of mediation is to create a mutual settlement agreement so that both parties can avoid going to trial.
Once you arrive at the mediation, the mediator will introduce all of the parties present at the meeting. He or she will ask each party to sign a confidentiality agreement, which states that all discussions that take place during the mediation are private. This prevents either party from using information learned during these negotiations in a trial.
After signing this agreement, your lawyer and the at-fault party’s attorney will have the opportunity to make an opening statement. During this statement, your attorney will present evidence about your injuries to the mediator, at-fault party, and defense attorney.
The mediator will then take you and your attorney into a separate room and discuss the case, your injuries, and your desired outcome. He or she will have the same conversation with the at-fault party and his or her lawyer. The mediator may go between the parties multiple times during mediation and may have private conversations with your attorney as well.
If the mediator believes that it is necessary, he or she will also bring all parties together for a joint mediation component. During this process, you and the at-fault party will meet in the same room with your respective attorneys to discuss your case.
If the mediation is successful, both parties will meet at the end of the process to create a settlement agreement. You will sign a document that outlines the terms of the settlement that you reach during the mediation. Your attorneys will prepare appropriate paperwork to submit to the court, and you will need to sign another document confirming that you reached the end of your claim.
The goal of mediation is to settle your dispute, but if you are unable to reach a sufficient agreement, your case will proceed to trial. While the trial process can be lengthy and time-consuming, it is an important step to achieve the compensation you need to recover. Your attorney will represent you during this process, using key pieces of evidence to craft a compelling claim for your compensation.
If you do not have an attorney to represent you in your claim, schedule a consultation as soon as possible. An Oregon personal injury lawyer can provide several benefits during the claims process, from representation during mediation to evidence preparation and expert testimony. Contact an injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your lawsuit.