Mediation can be beneficial in a personal injury case. It’s a method of settling a lawsuit before going to trial. Many people prefer to try to resolve a legal dispute without taking the case to court because it’s costly and time-consuming. However, mediation isn’t a good idea under certain circumstances. Proceeding with the next stage of the lawsuit might be a better decision so you don’t waste your time attempting to settle when it probably won’t happen.
What Is Mediation?
A neutral third party manages the mediation process. The mediator meets with the plaintiff, the defendant, and their attorneys. However, opposing parties don’t sit in the same room. They spend the mediation in different areas of the same location so the mediator can go back and forth between each side.
The mediator discusses the case with both parties and facilitates negotiations. They can’t decide on the case or enter judgments. Their job is to offer solutions to the dispute so the plaintiff and defendant can settle the matter.
Read more: How Long Mediation Takes In A Lawsuit
Common Reasons You Should Avoid Mediation
Mediation isn’t the most appropriate method of resolving a personal injury case for everyone. Some people do better by going to trial so a judge or jury can decide on the matter. Although you want to settle your case, there might be better options than mediation for reaching your goal.
The most common reasons mediation is a bad idea are:
- Different goals – You shouldn’t try negotiating during mediation if you and the opposing party have different goals. Sometimes, it works if you want similar outcomes, such as avoiding trial. However, mediation is not the way to go if your goals differ significantly and meeting in the middle isn’t possible.
- Emotion and ego – When someone’s ego gets in the way or their emotions take over, settling a personal injury case is nearly impossible. Reasoning with someone who believes they’re right or can’t control their behavior is challenging. You should avoid mediation if the person you’re up against seems unreasonable or unwilling to meet you halfway.
- Bitterness towards each other – Mediation is likely to fail if you and the other person have serious animosity toward each other. Although you know the opposing party is at fault for your injury, setting aside your feelings is crucial to settle the matter. If you can’t let go of your anger, bitterness, or feelings of resentment for what they did to you, mediation isn’t a good idea and is likely a waste of time.
- Inadequate preparation – You should feel prepared before going into mediation. That means you and your attorney have already discussed the process and know what needs to happen before you can agree to a settlement. An inadequate plan and disorganization can prevent you from communicating relevant information. You might be open to mediation but don’t feel ready for productive conversations.
- Unreasonable requests – Mediation isn’t a good idea if one or both of you aren’t willing or able to settle for a fair amount. Personal injury cases hinge on proving someone is negligent for another person’s injury. While you might be entitled to compensation, seeking an outrageous number is counterproductive. Your better option is going to trial if your demands are too high for the opposing party to agree to a settlement.
- Lack of representation – Attorneys don’t have to be present during mediation. However, a lawyer can be a valuable asset during negotiations. You should not agree to mediation if you haven’t hired a lawyer. The opposing party might have an attorney and take advantage of you during settlement talks.
- Unwillingness to compromise – Both sides must compromise during mediation to reach a successful outcome. You might not get everything you want in a settlement, but you could get most of what you’re asking for. It won’t be effective if you go into mediation unwilling to bend or back down on specific aspects of the case.
- Traumatic incident – Mediating a personal injury case involving a traumatic accident will likely fail. You probably don’t want to settle if you believe the other party’s conduct is despicable. You want them to be liable for harming you, and negotiating less compensation than you think you deserve likely won’t satisfy your need for justice.
Contact a Dedicated Personal Injury Lawyer Now
At The Benton Law Firm in Dallas, our personal injury lawyers provide compassionate and dependable legal services to our clients. We work hard to protect the rights of accident victims and try to reach a favorable result. You will be our top priority when you hire us to handle your case.
Read more: What Happens After Mediation Settlement