Attorney John P. Burns is going into a mediation next week on a case in which his client has a personal injury claim plus a large claim for a loss of income due to an automobile accident. A mediation is a meeting held between a plaintiff and his or her attorney, the defendant and his or her attorney and a neutral mediator. The purpose of the mediation is to see if the neutral mediator can achieve a settlement between the parties without the necessity of a trial.
The mediator is usually a retired judge or an attorney with extensive experience in the field of law the particular lawsuit is all about. For example, since Mr. Burns is representing his client in a personal injury case. the mediator in this case is a retired judge with extensive experience in conducting personal injury settlement conferences and trials.
The mediator has no actual power to make either of the parties to the lawsuit do anything. The mediator simply puts the two sides in separate rooms and then starts going back and forth between the two rooms to see if the case can be settled.
In this case the defendant has admitted fault for the automobile accident. Mr. Burns’ client has about $15,000.00 in bills for medical care, physical therapy, massages and an MRI. The client also has, however, a very large lost income claim.
The client’s lost income claim consists of a decrease in the client’s ability to sell the product of the company he works for. This was due to the time taken up by doctors and therapy appointments, as well as just not feeling well enough to work as hard as usual. The client’s tax documents do show a decrease in income after the accident.
Mr. Burns and the client do have a record of the number of times the client had to go to the doctor’s office and therapy. Multiplying the client’s usual hourly income times that number of medical visits equals part of the lost income claim.
The part of the lost income claim having to do with the client’s not being able to work as hard because he didn’t feel well enough to do the same amount of work as before the accident may be a problem. In that regard, all that Mr. Burns and the client have to offer is the client’s testimony that his injuries made it hard to do the same amount of work.
The defense does have to consider that the client makes a nice appearance, is a very nice person and makes a good witness. A jury would probably easily believe the portion of the lost income claim represented by the lost time for medical appointments. If the defense believes that a jury will also believe the client about his inability to work as hard, due to his injuries, the case could result in a substantial verdict for the client.
Although willing to negotiate, Mr. Burns is adamant that any proposed settlement contain sufficient money to fully compensate his client for, not only his personal injury claim, but the client’s lost income claim as well. Accordingly, Mr. Burns has made a demand for settlement in a very substantial amount.
Mr. Burns will publish the results of the mediation news after it is concluded next week.
If you have a personal injury case, including one with a lost income claim, please give Mr. Burns a phone call at his office number of 949-496-7000 to discuss it or e mail Mr. Burns at email@example.com. There is no charge by Mr. Burns for the initial discussion of your case.