Will You Have to Attend Mediation for Your Fairburn Car Accident Lawsuit?

car collision, car accident mediation concept

One thing any car accident lawyer in Fairburn will tell you is that the courts like to see people settle their cases. The last thing a civil court judge wants to see is their docket full of car accident cases. This is one reason the judge may order mediation in your case.

What Is Mediation and How Does It Work?

In Georgia, mediation is just one facet of the court’s “Alternative Dispute Resolution” (ADR) program. When two parties in a civil case are not able to negotiate a settlement on their own, the judge may order them to attend mediation.

Your car accident lawyer in Fairburn does have a say in whether your case goes to mediation. They can specifically request that the case be sent to mediation in the hopes of settling the matter. Or they can request that the case be removed from mediation.

Who is Assigned to Mediate Your Case?

The people who are assigned the role of a mediator are usually people with a legal background. Many of the mediators our car accident lawyers in Fairburn have dealt with are retired attorneys. Some may even be retired judges.

There is typically a group of mediators that make up a pool of ADR managers before the court. As mediation cases appear on the judge’s calendar, they will assign a mediator to each case. Your car accident lawyer in Fairburn will not have the option of choosing one mediator over the other.

Where Does Mediation Take Place?

Usually, mediation will take place on the courthouse grounds. You may have to briefly meet before the judge before the parties retire to a conference room. Many courts have small meeting rooms just outside the courtrooms for this purpose.

The goal of mediation is for all the parties to feel comfortable enough to discuss their case and their concerns with the mediator. Mediation would never be held in one of the attorneys’ offices as that would be a disadvantage to the other party.

Are Both Parties Forced to Discuss the Case in Front of Each Other?

Any car accident lawyer in Fairburn can confirm that it would be awkward to discuss their client’s case in front of the defendant. Up until this point, there is a good chance that the two attorneys handling the cases have never met to discuss the case face-to-face.

Even if the attorneys are familiar with each other, that doesn’t mean their clients are familiar. Given the nature of a car accident case, neither party should be all that familiar with the other.

What if You Don’t Think Mediation Will Help?

There are times when the parties are so far apart, there is nothing a third party could say to help matters. For example, imagine a plaintiff who has demanded half a million dollars in damages.

Now, imagine that the insurance carrier believes the plaintiff caused the crash. This case is not likely to benefit from mediation at all. It may feel like a waste of time.

Your Fairburn accident attorney can petition the court to remove the case from mediation. It may be clear that the parties are nowhere near settling their dispute. There is no point in wasting more time.

Will the Judge Force My Fairburn Accident Attorney to Attend Mediation?

One question a lot of our clients ask is whether the judge can force our Fairburn accident lawyer to go to mediation. The truth is that it doesn’t really matter what type of case you have filed, the judge assigned to your case always has the option of ordering the parties to attend mediation.

car accident lawyer in Fairburn concept image

The way the judge sees things, it’s in the best interest of everybody involved if the mediator can help negotiate a settlement. Since the mediator is an objective party, they may be capable of pointing things out that the parties don’t see.

Is the Mediator’s Decision Final?

It is important to understand that the mediator is not technically making a decision in your case. All they do is listen to both parties tell their version of the story. The mediator will literally walk back and forth between two rooms to try and broker a deal of some sort.

Once the mediator has had a chance to listen to both sides, they will put their thoughts and findings into a report. They will also briefly explain to the car accident lawyer in Fairburn how they feel the case should be settled.

It is up to the respective parties as to whether they agree to the settlement terms suggested.

Does the Judge See the Mediator’s Notes and Recommendation?

One thing that clients and even some Fairburn accident attorneys worry about is whether the judge will see the mediator’s report. During mediation, the mediator assigned to your case will take notes.

The mediator’s notes will provide a summary of the arguments on both sides. This report will also include a final recommendation made by the mediator. The judge will have the option of reviewing the mediator’s final report.

It is important to keep in mind, however, the mediator’s recommendation may not impact the judge’s decision at all.

Can Your Car Accident Lawyer in Fairburn Still Go to Trial?

If mediation does not go well, your car accident lawyer in Fairburn may still have to take your case to trial. This doesn’t mean that your case will not be settled. In fact, more than 95% of all car accident cases are settled out of court.

What this means is that your attorney may not like the terms set by the mediator. Perhaps they don’t believe that the amount of the settlement proposal is fair. Or they may not like the way the money is set to be dispersed.

Your Fairburn Accident Attorney Will Continue to Negotiate a Settlement

Typically, the judge will order mediation to take place within 60 days of the last pleading filed by the other party. Discovery will be well underway so both sides have all the information they need to negotiate a potential settlement.

Just because mediation wasn’t successful, that does not mean you can’t settle your case. The odds of your case going to trial are still small.

If You Think You’re Entitled to Compensation Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Fairburn

If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, there is a good chance that you’re entitled to compensation. You should contact our top Georgia car accident lawyers. We work hard to make sure our clients get the money they deserve.

Whether it’s through mediation or through tough negotiations on the part of your Fairburn accident attorney, there is a good chance your case will settle.

Since we offer all new clients a free, initial consultation, it’s in your best interest to contact us as soon as possible. Have an experienced Fairburn accident lawyer review your case and give you an idea of what it may be worth.

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