Personal Injury Mediation: 5 Things to Expect

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In South Carolina, mediation is mandatory in many counties in state court as a part of the pre-trial process. The federal court in South Carolina frequently orders parties to conduct mediation as part of a scheduling order. Mediation is a non-binding process designed to facilitate a settlement

Why mediation? Because it works in reaching a settlement, and works well. Mediation allows litigants to decide the outcome of their own cases without the risk of a jury or having your case or verdict overturned by a judge.

Mediation has been highly successful at resolving many lawsuits as a form of alternative dispute resolution, especially in personal injury cases such as business torts, automobile accidents, falls, and injuries caused by defective products. Oftentimes mediation is the first opportunity where the parties can meaningfully sit down and discuss the merits of case in an attempt to reach a settlement through negotiation. *While mediation is often productive, mediation can fail if the parties are not properly prepared of what to expect.*

If you are attending a mediation as a plaintiff (the injured party) in a personal injury lawsuit, here are 5 things to expect:

  1. Expect to hear statements from the opposing party that you disagree with. At the beginning of most mediations, the parties and their lawyers will gather in conference room together for opening statements. You and your attorney will be on one side of the table. The defendant, the defendant’s attorney, and usually a representative from the defendant’s insurance company will sit on the other side. The mediator, who is neutral, will sit at the head of the table. Your attorney will present your side of the case. The defense attorney will then make statements that will challenge your view of the facts and the value of your case. This is his or her job. Do not be offended.
  2. Expect the parties to be far apart at the beginning. At the early stages of the negotiations, you can expect the parties to be far apart. You can count on “low ball” offers from the defense, or offers that too low to consider. The defense can expect your starting point to be too high, as well. Remember to be patient. As with any negotiations, it’s not where you start, it’s where you end!
  3. Expect the process to be lengthy. A successful mediation can take anywhere from a few hours or a full day. In our experience, the average mediation time is between 4-6 hours. The process takes time because the mediator will be meeting privately with the parties in separate rooms in order to gather information about the case. The mediator will deliver offers and demands back and forth between all interested parties.
  4. Expect the mediator not to pick a side. The mediator is not your attorney or your advocate. The mediator’s only “client” is the “settlement.” In order for a mediator to facilitate a settlement, he must be neutral and fair to all parties. The mediator cannot “pick” one side over the other.
  5. Expect to compromise.  Mediation cannot work without compromise. If you want to reach a settlement, then you must be willing to make concessions that are reasonable and fair. Mediation is a “give and take” process that allows you to maximize your rewards and minimize your risks through a negotiated settlement. Without compromise, you can expect your case to end in court.

Columbia Personal Injury Mediation Attorney

If you or a loved one has sustained personal injuries from the negligence or fault of another, it’s important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your rights. Many personal injury lawsuits are settled at mediation. If you have any questions about the mediation process, please call us today at (803) 350-9230 and we will be happy to answer your questions.


What Clients are saying

100 stars! Mr. Goings and his staff did an amazing job in handling my case! They were with me every step of the way and made sure my case was handled with my best interest at heart! The process could not have been any easier. I am forever grateful to Mr. Goings and his team. South Carolina’s best attorney!

- Tiffany AL

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- Jason D

After representing me after I fell down the stairs at work and injured my back, I would recommend the Goings Law Firm to handle any personal injury matter. Robert and Jessica made me feel like my case mattered to them and that my goals were their goals. They were tireless advocates for me yet they were also willing to be upfront and honest in their assessments of my options going forward. I never felt pressured to choose one course of action over the other. They treated my case like their own.

- Anonymous

Mr. Goings is an outstanding attorney. Dealing with a personal injury case can be frustrating and quite stressful. Mr. Goings and his office took care of my case with the upmost compassion and professionalism. They treated me like family. Mr. Goings is hard-working and determined to fight for his clients’ rights. I highly recommend him to anyone in need of a personal injury attorney.

- Anonymous

When I looked for an attorney for my bad car accident, I read the reviews for the Goings Law Firm. This firm had great reviews so I contacted them. Thankfully, Mr. Goings took my case and fully explained the process to me and he took the worry out of my mind. Before hiring him, I tried to settle my case with the insurance company on my own, but I was low balled- Mr. Goings and his office got me a lot more than I ever imagined. A big thanks to his office!

- Anonymous

The Goings Law Firm went above and beyond assisting me after a serious auto accident. Robert Goings and Katie Gould were thorough and kind explaining every step of the process to me, sometimes more than once. Robert was persistent and professional making sure that we received the highest allowable compensation from all parties. I could not have been more pleased with the overall outcome.

- Car Accident Client

It has been a great experience having you represent my family as Our Attorney. I have learned a lot, and have come to understand the importance of good counsel. You and your team are the best. You guys are officially our family Law Firm. Thanks Robert.

- Workers’ Comp Client

Words cannot adequately express my gratitude for Robert Goings, and his amazingly talented team at Goings Law Firm, LLC. Mr. Goings was always genuinely concerned about my health, and overall well-being, was instrumental in recommending the best medical treatment plan for my injury, and most importantly, he treated me as if I were family. Mr. Goings was extremely attentive to every detail regarding my case, and he executed professional results and recovery, well beyond my greatest expectation.

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- Personal Injury Client

Mr. Goings worked tirelessly to resolve my husband’s case, despite the fact my husband wasn’t always the best client, and we still ended up with the best possible outcome because, in my opinion, we had the best attorney. Robert Goings is a professional, caring, experienced attorney with an amazing paralegal, Katie, and a wonderful support staff. If you need legal representation, The Goings Law Firm is the only call you need to make.

- Personal Injury Client

Mr. Goings stood up for my Constitutional Rights. He is a not your typical lawyer and you can trust him like a friend. His staff is very friendly, accommodating, and helpful throughout the entire process.

- Anonymous

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- Personal Injury Client

Hands down one of the BEST attorneys in the state!! Robert Goings exceeded all of my expectations. He welcomed me and my daughter with open arms and he kept me informed every step of the way. I knew exactly what was going on in my case and I really like that about him. His entire staff was awesome and I would definitely recommend him to anyone looking for a personal injury attorney. I guarantee you, you will be very pleased with Mr. Goings. Honestly, he definitely deserves more than 5 stars!!

- Personal Injury Client

After being rear ended in a car accident, I needed help navigating the insurance settlement. Having never needed the services of an attorney, I was very anxious about the whole process. Robert Goings & his staff were excellent to work with; at no point did I question my decision or feel that we would achieve anything less than the best possible settlement. I would never hesitate to recommend him to family, friends or strangers!

- Car Accident Client

Goings Law Firm was very helpful and patient with me. Goings Law Firm educated me about the legal side of things and help me understand my case. I would recommend Goings Law Firm to anyone.

- Workers’ Comp Client

Mr. Goings was caring and professional during a very difficult time in my life. I was faced with the sudden loss of my mother in a car accident, and Robert took the time to talk to me and check up on me throughout the duration of the case. I applaud his sensitivity and willingness to go the extra mile. I would recommend his firm to anyone that wants the best legal representation in South Carolina!

- Personal Injury Client

Robert and his staff have gone above and beyond, they are absolutely amazing at what they do. I would definitely call his office again if the need should arise.

- Workers’ Comp Client

I highly recommend Robert Goings! He is absolutely incredible!!! I had suffered from a dog bite injury and Robert went above and beyond to have me taken care of. He is extremely personable, I never felt like a “client”. He and his staff treated me as well as my family with genuine kindness. I am blessed to have had him take such great care of me and my case.

- Dog Bite Client

He was very kind and knowledgeable. He gave me status updates in a timely matter. I was VERY pleased.

- Personal Injury Client