Do You Have to Attend Mediation for Your Personal Injury Case in Texas?
If you get hurt in any sort of accident, you are going to want to be compensated for your injuries. That is the whole point of hiring a personal injury lawyer in Houston. They’ll help you file a claim against the defendant’s insurance company.
Most cases do involve insurance of one sort of another. This could include:
- Auto insurance in a car accident case
- Liability insurance in a slip and fall or premises liability claim
- The manufacturer of a dangerous drug has insurance
- Malpractice insurance in a medical malpractice case
In an ideal world, the defendant’s insurance company will pay your claim right away. If this is the case, you’ll receive your check in a week or two. However, things don’t often work out this way in the real world. There is a good chance the insurance company will deny your claim.
If your claim is denied, or if the defendant has no insurance, you’ll have no choice but to file a personal injury lawsuit. Once you do this, you’ll start the legal wheels in motion. The defendant will have a chance to respond to your lawsuit. They may simply deny responsibility or file a counter-claim.
Regardless of what their response is, there’s a good chance you’ll have to attend mediation. Mediation is simply one method used by the courts to help settle civil lawsuits. Your Houston personal injury lawyer will attend the mediation with you. They’ll work hard to negotiate a settlement of your case.
What is Mediation
Mediation is a common tool used by the courts in Texas to help settle lawsuits. The judge knows your case is probably going to settle at some point. More than 90% of all personal injury lawsuits settle before trial.
Mediation is just one way to speed up this process. When the court receives your complaint, they’re going to schedule several things. These include:
- Discovery – This is the time limit that each party has to send and receive discovery. Discovery includes things like interrogatories and notices to produce. It also includes depositions. Your attorney will demand certain information from the defendant. The defendant will also demand that your Houston personal injury lawyer send them certain information.
- Mediation – Before the judge wastes any time on your case, they’re going to want you to make an effort to settle your case. This is where mediation comes in. The court will set a date for mediation. They may assign a mediator to your case. Or, they can let the two attorneys decide on one together.
- Pre-Trial Conference – If you’re unable to settle your case at mediation, you’ll have to attend a pre-trial conference. This is when the court sees where the two sides are at. They’ll determine if they’re close to settling their case or if a trial is necessary.
- Trial – You may have to go to trial. While this is rare, it does happen.
You can refuse to go to mediation. Or, you can attend and simply refuse to take the advice of the mediator. Your Houston personal injury attorney will advise you of the best way to proceed.
Do You Have to Take the Advice of the Mediator?
The mediator will review all of the discovery in the case. They’ll look at the evidence submitted from both the plaintiff and the defendant. They’ll use their experience to make a recommendation to the parties.
The mediator will give both sides their impression of the case. They’ll let you know what they think will happen if the case goes to trial. They know the judge’s history. They also know the law. Their recommendation will probably be a good predictor of what will happen in court.
You are not required to take the mediator’s suggestions. However, your attorney will want to hear what they have to say. In most cases, the judge’s decision will be pretty close to what the mediator predicts. If your lawyer thinks a settlement is the best option, they’ll tell you this.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston, Texas
If you get hurt in any sort of accident, you’re going to need the services of an experienced personal injury law firm in Houston. You need to focus on recovering from your injuries. Let your lawyer handle the legal side of things.
Call McDonald Worley today and schedule your initial consultation. It’s absolutely free and you pay nothing until you settle your case.