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Mediation And Direct Negotiations As An Alternative To Trial In Houston Personal Injury Lawsuits


Trial can seem like a nerve-wracking process for many people. In movies and on T.V. shows, trial is often portrayed as a dramatic dance between the plaintiff and defendant and their lawyers, with large props, loud objections, and abrupt side-bar conversations in front of the judge. In real life, while trial can certainly be dramatic, and probably always involves some nerves for the parties involved, the process is much less daunting when experienced personal injury lawyers are involved. In addition, many cases don’t go all the way through trial, and, in fact, are settled either through direct negotiations or mediation.

Resolution of a Houston Personal Injury Case Through Direct Negotiations or Mediation

While a person who has suffered an accident can certainly take their case all the way through trial, they might consider other pathways to justice in their case. In the lifespan of a Houston personal injury case, there may be opportunities to see if early resolution is an option for both the injured person, called the “plaintiff”, and the person who injured them through their own negligence, called the “defendant” (together typically referred to as the “parties”). If both the plaintiff and defendant have a willingness to potentially resolve the personal injury case out of court, one side or both might suggest direct negotiations or mediation. Direct negotiations are negotiations done without an intermediary involved. That means that the parties or their lawyers negotiate the case “face-to-face” through telephone calls, meetings, and/or by email. On the other hand, mediation is a process whereby the parties negotiate with the help of a neutral third-party intermediary, called a “mediator”, who facilitates settlement discussions and helps ensure there is no breakdown in the negotiations. In both scenarios, the parties can be represented by their lawyers, and, ultimately, if a deal is reached it will be memorialized in a settlement agreement. A settlement is an out-of-court deal made between the parties voluntarily and in lieu of going to trial.

Why Mediation or Direct Negotiations in a Houston Personal Injury Case?

There are many reasons that a plaintiff to a Houston personal injury lawsuit might consider mediation or direct negotiations in lieu of trying their case. For example, first, trial is scheduled through the court on the court’s timeline and requires much up-front preparation. Settlement may provide a faster resolution, since the parties can schedule mediation at their discretion and preparation is typically less involved. Secondly, although mediation typically is an up-front cost to one or, more typically, both parties, it may ultimately be more cost-efficient in the long run, because it typically takes less time than protracted litigation of the case culminating in trial. Third, mediation and direct negotiations provide more certainty to a plaintiff in terms of the outcome of their case. When a case goes on the trial path, ultimately the decision regarding the outcome of the case will be out of the parties’ hands. Mediation and direct negotiations give the decision-making power about the outcome of the case to the parties.

Representation at Mediation or in Direct Negotiations by a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer

It is important for individuals who are involved in or are contemplating bringing a personal injury lawsuit to know their rights and options when it comes to seeking justice and getting resolution in their case. An experienced Houston personal injury lawyer can help their client decide whether mediation or direct negotiations might be a good strategy in their particular case, and can represent them in those negotiations. A skilled and experienced Houston personal injury lawyer has gone through mediation and direct negotiations many times, and knows the intricacies of the process well. If you have questions about mediation or direct negotiations in your personal injury lawsuit, or you’d like to speak to an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer, contact the Gilde Law Firm today. The Gilde Law Firm offers a free and confidential consultation to learn about your case and to see if they can help. Contact the Gilde Law Firm today to discuss your Houston personal injury lawsuit.

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