Mediation in the Personal Injury Context

Mediation plays a vital role in resolving personal injury actions. Mediations are mandated by the Rules of Civil Procedure and provide an opportunity to the parties and their lawyers to meet with a trained alternate dispute resolution specialist (a mediator) to attempt to resolve some or all of the issues in the court action. Mediation is available even without a court action having been started. Our law firm, Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP has great success using this step in the litigation process to resolve claims. We sometimes use mediation outside of the litigation process as well.  
Things to remember about mediation.  In Ottawa, it is mandatory.  However, mediation will only be successful if the parties attend in good faith with an honest attempt to settle their dispute.  
Some things to remember when preparing and attending mediation:
1. Your lawyer should know your case well.
2. Your case should be ready for mediation, meaning all vital documents are obtained prior to mediation, your injuries have healed and you are ready to settle.
3. Prepare for the mediation session by filing the mediation brief in advance of mediation, reviewing the mediation brief of the opposing parties and meeting with your lawyer in advance of mediation.
4. The mediation brief should be concise, to the point and refer to the most important facts and evidence supporting those facts that are helpful to your case.
5. Your lawyer should not be adversarial and prepare a well planned opening statement.
6. Your lawyer should ask the mediator for advice and feedback during the mediation. Mediators are impartial and see the cases from a different perspective.
7. Its important for your lawyer to know the insurance company involved, their history, their adjusters and their lawyers so to also know typical strategies used and business practices applied.
8. Mediators cannot work miracles.  It is important that your lawyer has all the tools needed for an effective mediation such as solid medical records and reports to support your injuries and the consequences on your life.
The mediation process is an extremely important part of the litigation process and can often settle your case early, alleviating the stress and costs of ongoing litigation.  Contact any of our lawyers to discuss your personal injury case free of charge. We offer no fee until you win agreements and settle most of our cases for fair compensation without litigation.
Marc Nicholas Quinn
Ottawa Accident and Injury Lawyer