Mediation is a method of negotiating your case with the help of a neutral third party, known as a mediator. The mediator facilitates communications between you and the other parties. However, the mediator cannot make decisions in your case. If you cannot reach a mutually agreed-upon settlement during mediation, you may choose to proceed to trial.
What Happens After Mediation Settlement?
During mediation, you will be negotiating a mutually acceptable settlement agreement. When you reach a mediation settlement agreement, the attorneys will create a written mediation settlement agreement. Once all the parties sign the agreement, it becomes a legally binding contract if the court ordered the mediation. In other words, once the mediation settlement agreement is signed, you should not revisit the issues in court.
What Is a Mediation Settlement Agreement?
The specific terms of your mediation settlement agreement depend on the issues you are trying to resolve and the specific needs of each party. However, some common terms of a mediation agreement include the following:
- Description of the dispute: A settlement agreement will usually include a brief description of the dispute.
- Compensation structure: When settling, the at-fault party will likely pay compensation. Depending on the party’s needs, this may be through a lump sum payment or installments. You should ensure your settlement agreement is clear on the payment structure so there is no ambiguity.
- Performance of specific actions: One party may need to perform certain obligations before receiving compensation.
- Confidentiality provision: Your agreement may include a provision that requires the parties to keep the terms and conditions of the settlement confidential.
- Release of claims: In exchange for the settlement terms, you may agree to release all claims you have against the other party in relation to your injuries or the event that caused your injuries.
Ensuring all issues are resolved in the settlement is vital. For example, sometimes you may not agree on all the issues, so you may choose to take unresolved matters to court.
What Happens If Someone Breaches the Mediation Settlement Agreement?
If someone breaches the terms of the mediation settlement agreement, you may have to take the case to trial. For example, someone who breaches a deal might be liable for a breach of contract claim. Additionally, you may choose to go to court on the original dispute.
What Happens If Mediation Fails?
If you are unable to reach a settlement agreement during mediation, you have several options, including:
- Continue negotiation: Even if mediation negotiations fail, you may continue negotiating directly with the other party. This may involve revisiting issues you discussed during mediation. You can conduct negotiations through the attorneys, or you may use a different mediator.
- Arbitration: Sometimes, you may choose arbitration. This is when an impartial third party hears your case and makes a binding decision. Arbitration is more formal than mediation but can still save time and money compared to a trial.
- Litigation: If all other options fail, you may need to take the case to court. This is often the last resort because litigation can be expensive, time-consuming, and unpredictable. In some cases, though, this may be the only way to resolve your dispute.
The options available to you if mediation fails depend on the specifics of your case and your goals. However, you can often find a resolution that meets your needs and interests by choosing the right approach, even if mediation fails.
How Long After Mediation Can You Go To Court?
The amount of time between mediation and going to court varies depending on the following:
- The complexity of your case;
- The court’s availability; and
- The other party’s schedules.
The injured party is usually the one who will request a court date. Therefore, you are the most decisive factor in how long it will take to go to court after mediation. If you believe you can reach an agreement without going to court, you may wait longer to request a court date.
Contact an Attorney Experienced in Mediation Settlements
Mediation may be the best option when you are having difficulty resolving your dispute. The attorneys of The Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. have experience handling personal injury cases through settlement negotiations, mediation, and trial. Using our knowledge and expertise, we will fight for your best interests and help preserve your legal rights.
To get experienced representation, contact The Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. for a consultation today by calling us at (401) 751-8855.