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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide basic personal injury advice to my clients in my own practice.
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I am the plaintiff in a pending personal injury case. All depositions

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I am the plaintiff in a pending personal injury case. All depositions have now been completed, and the defendant's insurance company is beginning to talk about mediation. How significant is this, as opposed to just throwing out a number and trying to negotiate a settlement with my attorney? Is this a likely indication that they now recognize the seriousness of the injuries involved and the strength of our case? Their liability has always been clear (and undisputed), and depositions were largely favorable to me.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

A few things to keep in mind. Mediation is non-binding on both parties. throwing out numbers does not obligate either party in any way, although if you throw out something that is too low, they may become unwilling to negotiate higher. It is not yet a situation where they may recognize he severity, they may simply be trying to lower their fees and decrease their costs. They might still be out to try to settle this case for as little as possible so as to likewise avoid legal fees that may begin to pile up.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I understand that ultimately, this may be an attempt to avoid a trial and the costs involved, but in my limited experience, insurance companies usually try to toss out some lowball offers before they ask the plaintiff to agree to mediation. I was also under the impression that this mediation would be more like binding arbitration, where both parties would be required to agree to accept the outcome.

Thank you for your follow-up.

In terms of your second point, specifically about it being binding--that is something you would need to check with the mediator and your attorney first. Typically the difference between mediation and arbitration is that one is non-binding and the other one is. There are some potentially binding mediation hearings but that has to be disclosed and likewise it does not help to post your offers until and if you are able to evaluate your position. You are likewise absolutely correct that insurers are out to get out as cheaply as they can and they can likewise send out very low offers. You are of course not required to accept them. Hence, if an offer is given out, expect the real number to be somewhere that is 5 to 20 times larger.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I think they now know they're in trouble. I'm fully prepared to go to trial, but I assume the judge will expect us to at least try mediation. Isn't that standard procedure these days?

Thank you for your follow-up.

That is most definitely standard. The courts are trying to be the last resort after all other options have been exhausted. That likewise includes potential mediation since anything that keeps this case from moving forward saves money and is welcome by the courts.

Good luck.

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