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Mediation in Connecticut Injury or Accident Cases

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

If you have a Connecticut injury or accident case or you have been the victim of medical malpractice, where you have reached maximum medical improvement, one of the options which you could discuss with your attorney is to engage in non-binding mediation. Mediation is the process whereby both sides to a case agree upon an impartial, experienced, third party (Mediator) who has no decision making authority but who will attempt to assist both sides  in voluntarily negotiating an acceptable resolution of a case.

 

You should understand that the Mediator is someone chosen by the lawyers because that person has the training and experience in resolving disputes and has no bias for or against either side and whose job is to analyze the facts and issues and help the parties in reaching an equitable resolution of the case. Most mediators practice “shuttle diplomacy” in that the Mediator goes back and forth discussing matters with one side at a time without the other side being present. Some mediators attempt to facilitate a settlement without offering an opinion as to the value of your case while others are evaluative and offer their opinion as to a proper settlement figure. The timing of a mediation is very important.  The best time to submit a case to mediation is at that point when ALL parties and their attorneys are prepared to engage in serious settlement discussions.

 

Generally, a position statement or summary of all of the facts of the case from each party’s perspective (theories of liability and weaknesses, medical bills and records, lost wage information, permanent disability ratings, defenses, etc) are provided to the Mediator in advance of the scheduled mediation. These materials are reviewed by the Mediator so that the Mediator is aware of the positions of the parties. It is extremely that the client be made a part of the process of developing the position statement so that all issues are properly presented to the satisfaction of the client.

 

Most Mediators begin the mediation process with a group meeting involving the Mediator and all the parties (all clients and all lawyers).  Generally, the Mediator will introduce himself or herself and explain to the parties the ground rules and what to expect from the process.  Most Mediators require that all parties sign an agreement that the Mediator will not be called as a witness for any purpose and that all parties agree to keep an open mind and voluntarily participate in the process.

 

A Mediator will generally start by allowing each party an opportunity to present their case.  The Client may be called upon to explain issues in the case or describe how the injuries sustained in the accident have affected that individual. The Client may be hearing from the insurance company’s lawyer who may make a number of very negative comments about the client and/or their case.  The Client should be prepared for these possibilities and should not allow these negative comments to detract from their willingness or ability to move towards a settlement.

 

Many times the mediation process moves very slowly, where very low offers are initially made and a potential settlement might seem impossible.   You need to be aware that much of your time will be spent waiting while the Mediator moves back and forth between rooms discussing various issues with each side’s lawyer.   You need to be fully advised as to how this process works so you will realize that it takes time for this process to develop.   Two of the most important considerations to keep in mind during the process are to be patient and to be flexible.

 

Being flexible means not staying stuck on a figure that you are not prepared to move from especially if it is close to your initial demand. Remember a reasonable settlement is generally reached when both each party is mildly unhappy with either the amount they are getting or the amount they are paying.  It is important to review all of your materials regarding your case and be fully prepared about your case well in advance of your mediation, so that you are prepared to intelligently discuss your case.  You should insist that your lawyer rehearse what might be asked of you and what you should say so you are completely prepared and more comfortable with the process. Above all, be flexible, listen, be patient and make sure everything is completely explained to you so you can make an intelligent decision as to whether or not to settle your case..  If you understand and follow these instructions then you will improve the likelihood of your chances of obtaining a settlement and avoid the uncertainty of a trial.

If you have any questions about the process or if you have been injured in an accident and need some free advice, call and speak to our Harvard Law School trained mediator and negotiator. We can provide you with FREE assistance and help in one of three ways:

  1. Call us toll free at (888) CT-LAW 00 and speak to us directly so we can answer whatever questions you might have. There is no charge or no obligation for this free call;
  2. Fill out our brief online email form and we will get right back to you so we can answer your questions; and
  3. Request our FREE book “The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims” by visiting www.hcwlaw.com and filling out our two question request form so you can find out what you should and should not be doing.

 

What To Do After You Have Been Injured in a CT Accident Case

Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Connecticut

People who have been injured in some type of accident including car, truck, motorcycle, drunk driving or other motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, dog bite injury cases, child injury cases, premises liability case or other accident or injury case wonder what is the first thing you should do after your accident and that is seek appropriate medical treatment. Injuries suffered as a result of a fall on snow and ice can be quite severe, and could include broken or fractured bones, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Sometimes, due to the shock which your body endures the seriousness of these injuries are not immediately apparent and you may just want to go home rather than be seen by a medical professional in the hospital. For this and many other reasons, it is important that you be transported, preferable by ambulance, to a hospital emergency room to be thoroughly examined and checked out.

If at the time and place of the accident you are able, you should also take photographs of the accident site which may help to prove the liability of the at fault party. Those photographs might show what cause you to slip and fall or might show that the driver of the other vehicle hit you in your lane of traffic. Although photographs on a cell phone camera are not ideal it is certainly better than not having any timely photographic evidence at all. You should take as many photographs, if you are able, showing as much of the accident site as possible. If you are not able and cannot take any photographs at the accident site, ask a family member or friend to return to the accident site as soon as possible to take as many pictures as possible.  Good photos taken at or near the time of the accident depicting the cause or condition the accident can provide for an excellent means of providing evidence which could be the key to establishing the liability of the at fault party and proving your case.

You should also, as soon as possible and before you speak to any insurance adjuster, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer so that you are fully advised as to your rights and are told what things you should be doing and what things you should not be doing. This is why we wrote the book “The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims” so you can learn all about an injury case, how it is investigated, developed and prosecuted. The book is FREE and can be ordered online at www.hcwlaw.com.

Insurance companies have a team of experts working hard looking for ways to pay you the least amount of money possible for your case. You can help them in paying you as little money as possible every time you speak to the insurance company or insurance adjuster. You have to realize that the insurance company representative is not your friend and is not looking to help you. Their job is to save the insurance company money. So do not speak with them and do not agree to give a recorded statement but instead. Don’t forget that anything you say can and will be used against you.  So before you hire an attorney, speak to an insurance company representative or sign anything get a copy of our FREE book “The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims” or call us right away and speak to one of our lawyers at (888) CT-LAW 00.