At our law office, we always mediate all of our personal injury cases including automobile accidents, trucking collisions, and slip and fall cases. Here’s why.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is an alternative method that lawyers use to resolve their cases and provide an alternative to you other than going to trial. A private attorney, magistrate, or judge acts as a facilitator for negotiations between both sides. A mediation normally lasts a half day to a full day depending upon the complexity of the case. Generally, most of our cases that are litigated get resolved at a mediation. We have also found that typically the last settlement offer that we receive at mediation is usually better than the average verdicts that we see in the Columbus area, other parts of Franklin County, and the four surrounding counties that include Delaware, Licking, Clark, and Pickaway.
Role of Mediator
Mediations are usually not ordered by the court. Usually, the Parties agree to do a mediation voluntarily. The mediator does not act like a judge or an arbitrator who can impose orders or make rulings that affect the outcome of your case. The mediator works with the Parties to allow the Parties to reach a settlement based on their own efforts and the Parties’ willingness to participate in negotiations.
More Reasons to Mediate
The reason why we mediate all of our personal injury cases is because the verdicts in Franklin County and the surrounding four counties of Delaware, Licking, Clark and Pickaway counties are typically very low. The jurors that are selected from Franklin County typically work for an insurance company, healthcare company, financial institution, or in the medical service industry. Or, they may have friends, family members, or acquaintances who work for these industries. These jurors are typically conservative and traditionally have been stingy in awarding low verdicts.
The other reason why personal injury cases are being mediated is because of the enormous cost of litigating the case at trial. Typically, the average cost to pay a doctor to testify on behalf of a client ranges from anywhere between 4 to 6 thousand dollars. If we can negotiate a settlement for a client at a mediation, we can avoid having to pay for these expensive costs.
The low jury verdicts and the expense of taking a personal injury case to trial are the reasons why mediation is becoming the preferred mechanism in which personal injury cases are being resolved. It’s also why fewer personal injury cases are going to trial.
As an example, in Franklin County, which is one of the largest counties in Ohio, we had fewer jury trials between 2012 to 2018. In 2012 there were 23 jury trials with an average verdict of $12,000. In 2013, there were 15 jury trials with an average verdict of $15,143. In 2014, there were 24 jury trials with an average verdict of $12,415. In 2015, there were 13 jury trials with an average verdict of $16,734. In 2016 there were 13 jury trials with an average verdict of $17,826.83. In 2017, there were 16 jury trials with an average verdict of $15,000. In 2018, there were 9 jury trials with an average verdict of $18,380.
Is Mediation Right for You?
If you have questions about mediation in Franklin County or surrounding areas, feel free to contact The Law Office of Tom Somos, LLC today to discuss your options.