When Is Mediation Not a Good Idea?
Mediation is an effective solution for resolving a personal injury case outside of court to avoid going to trial. Both parties spend less time and money if they can settle the case during mediation, making it more cost-effective than litigation.
Although mediation allows opposing sides to iron out their issues and agree to a settlement, it isn’t always the best option. Negotiations can’t be successful if either party is unwilling to compromise or believe they can win at trial. Preparing for your day in court might be the best method of resolving the case if either of these is true.
What Is Mediation?
Before determining whether you should mediate your case, you must understand what mediation entails. Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Each side can meet with a neutral third party called a mediator to discuss the facts of the case, present evidence, and explain their reasoning for a proposed settlement.
The mediator facilitates conversations between opposing parties. Mediators can’t rule on cases or make decisions for the parties. They can point out the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s case and suggest ways to settle the matter outside of court. If the parties agree to a settlement, the case ends. However, a failed mediation means preparing for an upcoming trial.
Reasons to Avoid Mediation
Mediation can be a waste of time and money in specific circumstances. You might benefit more from proceeding with your case if any of these factors apply:
- Inadequate preparation – Preparing for mediation is crucial. You must discuss strategy with your lawyer and determine how to approach the session with the opposing party. If you’re unprepared, you will likely be unable to communicate your desired resolution effectively.
- Unwilling to compromise – Both parties must be willing to compromise on the terms of a settlement agreement. You might resolve the case by giving in to the defendant’s demands while maintaining your interests. However, proceeding to trial is your only option if the opposing side won’t agree to any of your proposed settlements or vice versa.
- Animosity between the parties – Feeling angry about what happened is normal. You might be able to put your feelings aside to settle the matter. However, resolving the case during mediation is unlikely when there’s significant animosity between the parties.
- Traumatic injuries – Severe accidents can cause permanent injuries and long-term complications. Opposing an inadequate settlement offer is understandable when the compensation won’t cover your expenses. Mediation won’t benefit you if the defendant is firm on the proposed settlement amount. Taking your chances at trial might get you the money you deserve.
- Ego – Sometimes, ego gets in the way of settling a case. The defendant might believe they didn’t do anything wrong or doesn’t think the settlement you demand is justified. You might believe you are entitled to significant compensation and won’t compromise to reach an agreement. Mediation will fail if opposing parties don’t adjust to a conciliatory mindset.
- Mandatory mediation – Sometimes, a judge orders mediation before allowing the parties to proceed to trial. When mediation isn’t court-ordered, both sides participate willingly, increasing the chance of settling. Mediation won’t be successful if one or both of you only attend because it’s a requirement and not because you want to negotiate.
- Conflicting goals – Mediation is a wasted effort if you and the opposing party don’t have similar goals. You can only negotiate a settlement if both of you want to avoid trial or have the same outcome in mind.
- Unrealistic demands and expectations – You shouldn’t request mediation if you or the defendant have unrealistic expectations. The defendant won’t want to negotiate if you demand a settlement far beyond what you’re entitled to for your injury. You won’t accept a low offer for a permanent injury requiring ongoing treatment. Both sides must adjust their demands to settle the case. Otherwise, mediation won’t benefit anyone.
Get Help with Your Personal Injury Case
You should not pursue a personal injury case without a personal injury lawyer. Proving liability and recovering maximum compensation requires substantial evidence and effective negotiation tactics. Many accident victims don’t know how to handle their cases or what to do when encountering obstacles.
At Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC, we know the steps we must take to protect our clients’ rights and secure the money owed to them. When you hire us, we will aggressively pursue justice and a favorable outcome for your case. You can depend on our legal team to fight by your side until the end.
If you sustained injuries in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, call Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC at 337-800-8800 for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Louisiana.