In West Virginia, almost all judges require mediation before trial. It’s basically an attempt for both sides to work with an impartial party to try to agree on an amount of money that would be sufficient for the plaintiff.
Mediations can occur both early on and later in the case. Because we usually deal with very complex cases, ours at the Segal Law Firm tend to happen later in the case. We have to spend some time gathering the facts. What are you current and future medical bills? How much money have you lost in wages and how much will you lose moving forward? As soon as we get those types of numbers, we’ll want to mediate to see if we can help you settle and move on with your life.
So what does mediation look like? Both sides will choose a third party, a lawyer without bias. The mediator doesn’t care who wins and who loses; their role is solely to see if they can get the two sides to agree to a number. In one room will be the insurance company or corporate representatives of the entity responsible for hurting you. In the other room will be you and me or another one of my lawyers from the firm.
Basically, the mediator goes back and forth, communicating the demands of both sides. I have been in mediations where there are twenty different people in rooms trying to mediate a case, because that’s how many people were involved in hurting my client. Those mediations can actually take several days. But just because it can look intimidating, you as a client shouldn’t be nervous. The Segal Law Firm is practiced and knowledgeable about that type of mediation.
At the end of the day, it’s your decision as a client as to whether or not you want to settle. We will give you our best advice, but if you don’t think the amount of money is suitable to protect you and your family for the rest of your lives, you don’t have to accept or settle. It’s always up to you.
If you have any questions or want to pick my brain about mediation, you can always reach me toll free at 855-344-9100.