If you are involved in a Baton Rouge medical malpractice case headed to court, you should know that litigating a medical malpractice case is expensive, time-consuming, and risky. However, your attorney may be able to use mediation to resolve your case quickly and reduce both the cost and risks.
Read further to learn what role mediation can play in a medical malpractice case, and how a Baton Rouge medical malpractice attorney from Dudley DeBosier can assist you with mediating your medical malpractice case to a successful conclusion.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a confidential and voluntary process in which litigants, with the assistance of a mediator, attempt to reach a mutually acceptable agreement to resolve a legal dispute. It is a collaborative process which offers a valuable opportunity for litigants to resolve disputes by way of negotiation and agreement, either before court proceedings are initiated or before those proceedings are concluded. Mediation can be particularly effective in complex and serious cases, such as claims for catastrophic or serious bodily injury or medical malpractice.
What is a Mediator?
A mediator is an independent professional who has received training in mediation, often a former lawyer or judge who has extensive experience practicing law in the area relevant to the dispute.
A mediator is a neutral third-party, whose role is to assist the litigants with reaching a mutually acceptable agreement to resolve the dispute, or in medical malpractice cases, to reach a settlement agreement.
How Does Mediation Work?
With mediation, both parties agree on a choice of mediator, the location, and a particular date and time. Then, each side will share relevant documents and information with the mediator in advance of the mediation meeting.
The mediator may also receive copies of the court paperwork, which are called the pleadings, as well as copies of reports from experts, such as rehabilitation consultants, occupational therapists, nursing consultants, physiotherapists, economists, and vocational experts, so that they are fully aware of the nature of the plaintiffs’ injuries and the potential level of compensation that could be awarded if the case were to go to trial.
On the date of the mediation, the mediator will meet with each side privately to learn about their position on the dispute and how they would like it resolved. Then the mediator will go back and forth between the parties, exploring suggestions and proposals.
Mediators are experts at overcoming obstacles that prevent settlements from being reached. In fact, according to the American Bar Association, somewhere between 70-80% of all mediations result in a settlement.
If a settlement is reached, the litigants will sign a written agreement memorializing the settlement terms, the attorneys will prepare the necessary paperwork to file with the court so that the plaintiff’s claim is paid, the plaintiff will sign a release, and the matter will be resolved. If a settlement is not reached at mediation, the litigants may continue to negotiate, and the case may still be resolved before trial.
What are the Benefits of Mediating a Baton Rouge Medical Malpractice Case?
There are several benefits to mediating a medical malpractice claim:
- Mediation is faster. A jury trial can often take three or four years, from the time you file your lawsuit until you come before a judge or jury. Mediation, on the other hand, can happen before a complaint is filed or at any time during the litigation process, and the litigants can reach a settlement in a matter of hours.
- Mediation can save money. Mediation can be a more cost-effective way of resolving a medical malpractice case, as it saves the legal cost and expenses associated with a full trial.
- Mediations are confidential. This means that, for the purpose of reaching a settlement, the litigants can agree or admit to things they otherwise would not agree or admit to, without worrying about those things being used against them at trial.
- Mediation avoids the risk of a trial. Most importantly for many, mediation eliminates the risk of having six random people determine whether the litigants win or lose the case and, if the plaintiff wins, how much the defendant must pay them.
How Can a Baton Rouge Medical Malpractice Lawyer Help?
For the best possible outcome, the most important work must be done before the mediation takes place. A skilled personal injury lawyer with experience handling medical malpractice cases can help ensure that the other side has the necessary information to value your lawsuit properly and offer you a fair settlement at mediation.
By working with a medical malpractice attorney in Baton Rouge, who will do the necessary work before mediation and provide you with sound guidance during the process, you will increase your likelihood of a fair settlement for your medical malpractice case.
Contact Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers
To learn more about having your medical malpractice case mediated or for a free consultation with an experienced and qualified Baton Rouge medical malpractice lawyer, we invite you to call us for the help you need.
At Dudley DeBosier, every prospective client gets a free case assessment. We love to help people protect their future and get what they deserve. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation with a medical malpractice attorney Baton Rouge residents can rely on.
This content has been reviewed by the Baton Rouge Dudley DeBosier office.
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