Don’t Skip This Step When Preparing for Mediation
A successful mediation requires careful attention to detail, adherence to deadlines, and the willingness of both sides to come to a compromise. There’s also a fourth, sometimes overlooked consideration—a well-prepared claimant. Working with a settlement consultant before and during mediation can save time and money by establishing realistic expectations, creating a solid financial plan, and preventing an impasse with the defense.
Establishing realistic expectations: The defense’s offer may be lower than the claimant anticipates. Breaking down projected future medical and financial requirements is the first step in getting all parties on the same page. By asking the right questions about daily needs, analyzing the life care plan, and identifying potential issues such as needs-based government benefit eligibility and outstanding liens, the settlement consultant can help manage the claimant’s expectations.
Developing a financial strategy: Most claimants don’t walk into mediation with a full understanding of their settlement options. Worse yet, relying on the defense broker to explain the alternatives may expose the plaintiff law firm to potential malpractice liability if the claimant does not feel sufficiently educated. Instead, a settlement consultant (preferably before mediation) can walk the claimant through all available options, including structured settlements, market-based options, special needs trusts, and more, increasing the odds of an agreeable settlement resolution.
Preventing an impasse: The time and cost of extended litigation cannot be understated. Settlement consultants are excellent resources for developing solutions that work for all sides. For instance, a structured settlement annuity releases the defendant from liability, allowing them to close their books on the case. At the same time, the claimant can feel comfortable that their financial needs will be met for years to come. The settlement consultant will also help ensure that the appropriate language is included in the settlement agreement, protecting all parties involved.
Contact Sage Settlement Consulting for Mediation Assistance
For more information about pre-mediation services and mediation assistance, contact Sage Settlement Consulting today.