Because so many movies and TV programs include a scene where the key characters are at a trial, many members of the public believe that most cases get settled within a courtroom. Actually, that is not the typical location for settlement of a dispute. Understand, though, that resolution of a personal injury lawsuit requires attainment of an agreement between the 2 opposing sides.
What means, other than a trial, do an insurance company and an accident victim have for reaching an agreement?
Legal representatives from the insurance company can negotiate with the victim, or with the victim’s lawyer. One legal team then provides the defendant with updates on the negotiations. The other legal team keeps the victim updated on any progress that has been made.
Progress takes the form of some decision that moves both sides closer to a resolution of their dispute. If both sides have agreed on the amount of money that should be given to the claimant/victim, then the insurance company is supposed to reveal the day when it will release those particular funds. If the negotiations fail to end with a settlement, the Personal Injury Lawyer in Oakville for the opposing parties might agree to pursue a different option, but not one that calls for spending time in a courtroom. Instead, the opposing parties might decide to take part in a medication session.
At such a session, the mediator listens to the arguments being made by representatives for each side. Then the mediator encourages each party to give serious thought to the other party’s arguments. Ideally, the mediator manages to offer the sort of guidance that aids attainment of an agreement.
What if a mediator fails to channel the thinking of the opposing parties, so that they arrive at a settlement?
In that case, a trial will probably be scheduled. Yet, the holding of a trial is not a certainty, due to the variety of locations in which the opposing sides might decide to settle their differences.
When and where do disputing parties arrange to settle their disagreement?
As the process moves forward, from failed negotiations or from a failed mediation session to the next stage, the representatives for the 2 sides meet repeatedly. They meet in the judge’s chambers, when a discovery session gets scheduled. They meet again during the discovery session. Following that session, a trial gets scheduled.
Both sides meet with the judge during preparations for the trial. At points during the trial, the representatives for the defendant and plaintiff might be called to speak with the judge in his or her chambers. During any of those meetings one side’s argument might weaken, or another’s might get stronger. Then the chances increase for the dispute’s awaited resolution.