Mediation Recommended Over Trial in Some Cases for Personal Injury Lawsuits in Philadelphia

Many times clients involved in a potential Philadelphia personal injury lawsuit cannot wait many years for a case to go to a Philadelphia jury verdict and then be fought on appeal. The Pearce Law Firm, a well-known personal injury and trial attorney firm in Philadelphia and recently again named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer by Philadelphia Magazinein its June 2008 issue, sometimes recommends sending a case to mediation.

This happened in a recent personal injury case headed to trial in Philadelphia. The result of the mediation was a total settlement for Plaintiff of over a million dollars. Learn more here. The Philadelphia personal injury lawsuit arose out of severe personal injuries suffered by a minor at the time of the incident, when his hand was pulled into a defective machine. There were numerous parties and many issues which may have taken many years before going to trial in Philadelphia and many years thereafter on appeal to the Pennsylvania Appellate Courts. The main issues involved which of the parties was in control of the defective equipment and factory at the time and whether the personal injury lawsuit was barred in Philadelphia because of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act formerly known as the Workman’s Compensation Act. Lastly, as often occurs in these type cases, the defendants argued that the Plaintiff was at fault for negligently having his hand too close to the machine. This defense, known as contributory negligence has been discussed in detail in a former article.

Philadelphia injury lawyer Edith Pearce decided to recommend mediation so that her client, who was in college at the time, could obtain a quick and speedy recovery and not fight the case on appeal for years. As highlighted on the Philadelphia personal injury attorney website of the firm, Edith Pearce‘s motto is “Working Towards Settlement While Aggressively Preparing for Trial.” Edith believes that some cases are appropriate to submit to mediation. As noted by the Dispute Resolution Institute, mediation consistently saves the parties significant time and litigation costs in a Philadelphia personal injury lawsuit without reducing their ability to effectively present their case. Through the submission of medical and other expert reports instead of live testimony in front of a jury, there are significant trial cost savings of $25,000 or more which are common in a Philadelphia jury trial. Cases referred to mediation are usually resolved within a couple months from the date the parties agree to submit their case. Also, once the case is settled, there will be no appeals which will further delay recovery. Also, unlike litigation where parties have minimal, if any, participation in selecting the judge and/or jury deciding their case, parties to a mediation proceeding jointly select their mediator. Many times the arbitrator or mediator may be a former judge who is now retired.

In summary, Edith was able to negotiate a million dollar settlement through mediation, and her client was able to receive the money immediately to pay for his college tuition and put money away for savings. While it may sound impressive when one reads that a lawyer obtained a jury verdict in a Philadelphia personal injury case of millions of dollars, the Plaintiff may never receive this money for years. In most cases, the defendant has the right to appeal the verdict and need not pay the Plaintiff any money while the case is on appeal. Thus, mediation might be a good alternative to trial in many cases. If you have any questions about your Pennsylvanian or New Jersey injury claim being submitted to mediation, please contact us or visit us at so we can discuss all of your choices.