What Happens in A CT Personal Injury Mediation?

What Happens In A CT Personal Injury Mediation?

What happens in CT Personal injury mediation? That’s a question many folks have. There’s a lot of uncertainty about the process. And with good reason. It usually occurs behind closed doors.

Many CT personal injury cases resolve in mediation. Trials can be expensive and risky for all parties. A CT personal injury mediation allows the parties to have control over the outcome of their case.

I’ve previously written about personal injury mediation in general. You can read more for yourself here. This post deals with the nuts and bolts of a personal injury mediation.

What happens in a CT Personal Injury Mediation? The Parties Agree To Mediate and Decide on a Mediator

At some point, either the plaintiff or defendant or possibly a court – raises the topic of mediation. Parties generally aren’t forced to mediate. Usually one lawyer will suggest mediation to the opposing lawyer. If both parties agree to mediate then the parties decide on a mediator. A mediator is a neutral person who tries to help the parties resolve their dispute.

Personal injury mediators in Connecticut are frequently judges, attorneys with experience in personal injury litigation, or retired judges. Choosing the right mediator for a case is an important decision.

What happens in a CT Personal Injury Mediation? Position Papers

Prior to the mediation the parties submit mediation position papers to the mediator. Position papers explain facts, issues, and legal disputes to the mediator. They often include key documents such as police reports or medical records.

The position paper also usually advises the mediator how much money the plaintiff is seeking. Position papers are generally confidential.

Position papers are submitted to a mediator in advance of a mediation. They allow a mediator to be prepared.

What happens in a CT Personal Injury Mediation? Who Attends

A CT personal injury mediation is usually attended by a plaintiff, the plaintiff’s lawyer or lawyers, a defense lawyer, and possibly an adjuster. All key decision makers are usually present or available by phone.

What happens in a CT Personal Injury Mediation? The Meeting

A CT personal injury occurs when the parties meet in person.

And every CT personal injury mediation is a little different. How a mediation proceeds is largely determined by the mediator. Though sometimes the mediation process is negotiated by the parties.

Mediations usually begin with the mediator talking to the parties either together or separately. Generally the mediator avoids specifics about the case and instead focuses on how the mediation will proceed.

After this the mediator generally meets with the lawyers for one of the parties. If that party is the defendant the question is usually “how much are you willing to pay to settle this?” And the question for the plaintiff is “how much are you looking for to settle this?”

Generally the parties are far apart in their initial offers. Mediation is a process.

At this point the mediator’s job begins. The mediator may say to a plaintiff “I may be able to get them to a certain dollar amount” is that something you are interested in? Something in that range?

Often the mediators try a technique called bracketing. They get the parties to agree on a range and then try and work within that range. For example a mediator may say to a plaintiff “do you agree that the most realistic high that this case is worth is X?” And then when all parties agree on a high and low the mediation focuses on the numbers in between.

There are other techniques as well, but bracketing is fairly common.

If the parties reach an agreement the case resolves and is over. If not, the parties proceed with litigation

Takeaways

This post covers the basics of what happens in a mediation. There is a lot of strategy beyond these basics. But the basics are important. Your lawyer should prepare you by reviewing your case, discussing likely outcomes, informing you about a specific mediator – so you are prepared to make a decision when the time comes in a mediation.

Ryan McKeen is a trial attorney at Connecticut Trial Firm, LLC in Glastonbury, Connecticut. In 2016, he was honored by the CT Personal Injury Hall of Fame for securing one of the highest settlements in the state. He is a New Leader in the Law. ABA 100. Avvo 10. 40 under 40 for Hartford Business Journal. He has been quoted in Time Magazine, the New York Times, Hartford Courant, Wall Street Journal Law Blog and the Hartford Business Journal. He focuses his practice on Connecticut Personal Injury law. He loves what he does. Contact him ryan@cttrialfirm.com or 860 471 8333