Resolving Disputes through Personal Injury Mediation: A Comprehensive Guide

Resolving Disputes through Personal Injury Mediation: A Comprehensive Guide

jeremiah grant
By - Jeremiah Grant
Last Updated - May 15th, 2023 5:35 AM
May 15

If you or someone you know has been involved in a personal injury case, you may have heard the term “mediation” thrown around. But what exactly is personal injury mediation, and how can it help you resolve disputes?

In simple terms, personal injury mediation is a process where a neutral third party, known as a mediator, helps those involved (you and the other entity) in a dispute to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. This can include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused.

So, if you find yourself in a similar situation, mediation in personal injury settlement is probably your best choice.

In this comprehensive guide, we will take a closer look at personal injury mediation, discuss how it works, what to expect during the process, and the benefits of using mediation to resolve disputes.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is often used as an alternative to going to court. Most people prefer mediation over court because it is quicker, less expensive, and less stressful than a trial. It also gives you more control over the outcome rather than leaving the decision in the hands of a judge or a jury of your peers.

Mediation is just one tool in the process of a personal injury claim that lawyers use to try to get and try to help get cases settled. Some cases will settle pre-suit meditations, but it’s fairly rare.

Most often, mediations occur after a lawsuit has been filed and the discovery process is over. It is basically a formal settlement conference.

Who is a Personal Injury Mediator?

In personal injury mediation cases, a mediator is a neutral third party who helps facilitate negotiations between the parties involved in the dispute. The mediator is a trained professional with expertise in conflict resolution and negotiation skills.

The mediator is usually a retired judge or an experienced lawyer who’s done this for a very long time and wants to come in and help other parties get their cases resolved.

One thing to keep in mind is that the mediator can’t make anybody settle their case. All they can do is encourage you and speak with you as well as your opponent, about the strengths and the weaknesses of your case, the risk, and the benefits of moving forward or settling.

Is it mandatory to hire a mediator in personal injury cases?

That’s a great question, and the answer is no.

It’s not mandatory to hire a mediator in personal injury cases, but it’s highly recommended, as mediation often leads to a faster and less expensive resolution than going to trial.

Additionally, mediation gives more control to the parties involved over the outcome and can help to preserve relationships that may have been damaged by the dispute.

Ultimately, the decision to hire a mediator is yours and the specific circumstances of the case at hand.

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Process for selecting a mediator in personal injury mediation.

The process for selecting a mediator varies from case to case. There is no specific, predetermined way to hire one. Therefore, the process of hiring a mediator depends highly on the circumstances of your case.

However, there are some common steps typically used in such cases so that you can get the idea.

Mediator selected by both parties

One of the most used approaches is for both parties to do their research and agree on a mediator together. This can be done through casual discussions between the parties or with the help of their attorneys or insurance adjusters.

Once you and the other party agree on a mediator, someone you can trust, they can arrange a negotiation meeting and begin the mediation process.

Court-Ordered Mediator

If you and the other party can’t agree on a mediator on your own, a court-ordered mediator is another way to go.

In some jurisdictions, parties may be required to try mediation before moving to trial. In such circumstances, the court may give a list of approved mediators or assign one to the case.

You should also know that you don’t have much control over the mediator selection process in such cases.

Mediation Services

If you don’t have the time or just simply don’t feel like going through the trouble of researching and selecting a mediator, you can always outsource the work to others.

There are organizations that can provide you with a list of certified mediators from which you can select, or they may assign one to the case based on your specific needs.

Whichever method you end up using, in the end, all that matters is that you find an excellent mediator who can help you out to the best of their abilities.

fetal work injury infographic

Source NSC

Things you should keep in mind when selecting a mediator

You must consider some things while selecting a mediator for personal injury case.

First, the mediator must have

  • Experience in conflict resolution, especially in personal injury cases such as yours.
  • Have a reputation for being fair and neutral.
  • Located conveniently, be easily accessible for you and the other party, and
  • Have great recommendations from past clients.

You must consider all the factors when selecting a mediator. A good mediator can make a big difference in helping the parties to reach a fair and equitable settlement agreement and vice versa.

How does Mediation work?

Although it differs in each case, there is a general structure you can refer to and prepare yourself for the same.

Most mediations start out in what’s called the general conference. That’s where both sides go to one room with a mediator and usually start with the plaintiff. The plaintiff’s lawyer will begin to tell the strengths of their case, and they’ll also discuss the weaknesses of the defendant’s case.

The defense lawyer will do the exact same thing, and both sides will be able to hear the story of the other side’s case, so they’ll be better prepared to understand the position of their opponent as they enter into formal negotiations.

After this general conference, the two sides usually split up and go into their own separate rooms. At that point, the mediator usually goes into one of the party’s rooms to discuss the case and get an initial offer.

After he or she has gotten that initial offer, the mediator would go back and forth between discussing the case, risks, benefits, and new information that’s come to light. Then, he or she will take offers back and forth to see if he can get the case settled.

Whether the case settles depends on whether the least amount the plaintiff is willing to take is less or equal to the most amount that the defendant is willing to pay.


That’s a mouthful. Let’s use an example to simplify things.

Imagine you go to a car dealership and you see a sticker price on a car. You know that you’re not going to have to pay the sticker price on the car, but when you make an offer to the salesman, that salesman knows that your first offer is not your best offer either.

Remember, cases will settle if the most the defendant’s willingness to pay is equal or more to the least amount that the plaintiff is willing to accept for his or her damages.

So, if we take the car salesman example and apply it to mediation, imagine the plaintiff is the car salesman and the defendant is the car buyer. If the plaintiff is willing to accept the most that the defendant or the car buyer is willing to pay, then the case will settle.

Now one question that is common among plaintiffs and defendants alike in such cases is, am I going to have to testify?

The answer to that question is simple; it depends on the case. Sometimes it’s appropriate, but most of the time, it’s not. Your only job at mediation is to make the final call on the numbers and what you are willing to accept after hearing the attorney and the mediator’s suggestions and advice.

Signing a Confidentiality Agreement

One more thing to keep in mind, both the plaintiff and the defendant are required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

You may ask, why?

The answer is simple. Confidentiality agreements ensure that all parties involved in the mediation process keep the details of the settlement negotiations confidential. This means that the discussions that take place during the mediation cannot be used against any party in a court of law.

It may seem like a small detail, but it is one of the most important aspects of mediation. Confidentiality agreements provide a safe and secure environment for all parties involved to discuss sensitive information freely and foster an environment of trust.

One more important thing to remember, like all agreements, confidentiality agreement also has its exceptions.

What if the mediation fails?

Of course, not all cases will settle at mediation, and if they don’t, the case will move forward toward trial. Still, mediation is much better than litigation risk.

Additionally, personal Injury mediation does have a high success rate because we know what similar cases have been settled for in the past.

Most good attorneys are well adept at analyzing the risk for their client to determine what a reasonable settlement value is.

How much does it cost to hire a mediator?

When it comes to personal injury lawsuit mediation, the cost can vary based on a lot of factors. Location, experience of the mediator, how complicated the dispute is, the number of parties involved, and what type of dispute it is are all things that can impact the cost.

On average, a mediation lawyer may charge anywhere from $300 to $900 per hour. That might seem like a lot, but if there are multiple parties involved, the fee might be split between them.

If it’s a really complicated case or if you’re hiring a high-level attorney, the cost could go up to several thousand dollars per hour.

While mediation costs can add up, it’s important to remember that the cost of litigation is almost always higher. Plus, mediation usually only lasts a few days, whereas litigation can drag on for years. It’s often a good idea to invest in mediation to avoid the risk and expense of going to court.

If you’re worried about the cost, there are ways to try and bring it down. It’s definitely worth exploring your options to see what you can do to make mediation more affordable.


That brings us to the end of our personal injury mediation guide! We hope you now understand what mediation is, how it works, and what to expect during the process.

Remember, personal injury mediation can be a great option rather than going to court, saving you the stress, time, and money involved in a trial. It provides you with more control over the outcome of your case and can help you negotiate a fair and acceptable settlement with the opposing side.

Sure, it can be expensive, but mediation is much cheaper than going to trial. Plus, a trial could take years to resolve the dispute. Meanwhile, in most cases, mediation is over in a matter of a couple of days.

If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of someone else and need some help in your personal injury case, be sure and give us a call here at Arrowfish.

We have a dedicated team of highly experienced mediators who are here to help you. With over 200+ years of combined experience across a diverse range of industries, they are well-equipped to handle the most complex personal injury cases, which is demonstrated by their work on each of their cases.



jeremiah grant

Jeremiah Grant

Jeremiah Grant is the Managing Partner of Arrowfish Consulting. In addition to acting as a primary liaison for many of the firm’s engagements, He primarily focuses on business valuation and economic damages expert witness assignments, in addition to forensic accounting and insurance claims analysis.