Mediation, Nevada, and Your Civil Litigation
Jared: Hi, my name is Jared Richards. I’m one of the attorneys at Clear Counsel Law Group. One of our clients has recently asked, what is mediation in the context of a personal injury claim? Mediation can happen either before a lawsuit is filed or after a lawsuit is filed. All it is both sides agreeing that they’re going to go find a neutral third party, and often those neutral third parties are either very experienced attorneys or retired judges, to go back and forth between the two parties and see if the two parties can come to an agreement as to who’s at fault and how much money should be paid.
What will often happen is your attorneys will hire a professional mediator. They’re kind of pricy. You’re going to probably end up paying them thousands of dollars. Generally the attorneys will front that money for you. You go to their office. Each party is in a different room. The mediator goes and talks to the injured party, figures out the injured party’s claim, figures out the story, goes to the defendant, figures out their story, and then communicates back and forth what he thinks is going to be necessary to got the claim settled.
Mediators are very good often because what ends up happening is each side tends to think that they’re right. a mediator, a good one at least, is good at pointing out the weaknesses to each side about their case so that if one side is looking for … I always like to use low numbers … $100, and the other side only wants to give $1, then the mediator can tell each side why they should compromise, and often will help get the deal done. Mediation generally is a very good thing. If one side is asking for it, it means that they’re serious about trying to settle. Looks like Brian has a question
Brian: How will an attorney assist you in a mediation proceeding?
Jared: It depends on the size of the claim. If you’re in small claims court, often mediation is required, and attorneys often are not hired in small claims court. If we’re talking about a real injury, something that’s significant, you don’t want to go there alone because you don’t know what the mediator’s going to do. Often the mediator and, quite frankly, the defendant’s insurance company, is going to make certain assumptions about the strength of your case if you don’t have an attorney.
Even if you have a great case, they’re going to make certain assumptions about your ability to handle the case and the complexities of court without an attorney, and they will probably devalue your case a bit for that. Just in any complex litigation, and I count injury as … it can be pretty complex at times … it makes sense to get an attorney involved, especially if you’re going through any sort of judicial process or going through mediation. Anyway, if you’re facing a mediation, don’t wing it. If you need help, give us a call and we’re happy to help. Thanks.