Mediation Didn’t Settle My Case, Now What?
So, a client’s case isn’t settling via mediation? The insurance company refuses to offer a fair amount of compensation. What happens now? Where do lawyer and client venture from this point?
When it comes to going the mediation route, there are a multitude of reasons to do so. The choice to use mediation usually comes down to three things, however. Time, cost, and efficiency. Personal Injury lawyers use mediation to save time. No client wants to wait years for compensation that can be of assistance today. Cost, because no client deserves to lose money to court fees unnecessarily. Furthermore, preparing for trial costs exponentially more money than achieving adequate compensation through mediation. Whenever possible, a wise attorney will utilize mediation to see a case through to conclusion. And efficiency, because preparation for mediation takes less time and resources than preparation for trial.
What questions do clients have regarding mediation?
Within this article, we’ll answer the following questions clients often pose to their lawyer regarding a mediation that didn’t result in a desired settlement.
- What happens if a case doesn’t settle during mediation?
- How do accident lawyers prepare for trial?
- What are the three steps to mediation?
- Sagi Shaked explains mediation in a 2 minute video
What are the three steps to mediation?
Mediation has three steps. Below, we break them down for a better understanding. The process of mediation is more efficient than trial. However, a lawyer with experience knows mediation may not always be the correct method of dispute resolution for every client.
The three steps to mediation:
- When and where? The parties and the mediator have control of where and when mediation takes place. The same parties have control of who is present during mediation. Both parties also have control of how mediation is financed.
- Client’s choice. Mediation is usually voluntary. This means both parties must agree this is the route they want to use to resolve a legal dispute. Occasionally, there are statutes or court orders that legally require a person or persons to pursue mediation prior to trial regardless of preference.
- Efficiency. When considering the client’s best interests, a Personal Injury lawyer wants to do what’s most efficient. This means obtaining maximum compensation for the client as quickly as possible. Personal Injury cases do not resolve quickly, but mediation still saves weeks or months in preparation time.
Say NO to Arbitration!
Many top lawyers will not utilize Arbitration method to litigate cases. The practice itself is thought by compassionate Personal Injury lawyers to be unfair and cruel to clients. Thus, its never in any accident lawyer’s best interest to pursue it.
What happens if my case doesn’t settle during mediation?
This is a common question. Clients often worry that if mediation can’t resolve their case, there will be no compensation. This is not true! With the right law firm, a Personal Injury lawyer ensures their client’s case will go all the way to trial. A lawyer who knows their stuff will never give up on a client simply because mediation isn’t providing an adequate offer of compensation.
If a case must go to trial, it’s not the end of the world. It’s common for insurance companies to play “hard ball” with the client. This means every offer of compensation is far below what the client deserves. And they know it! It’s this injustice that may lead to a case going to trial. This is where Personal Injury lawyers with Board Certification shine. If a case proceeds to trial, with the best law firm possible representing the client, they are in great hands. A case may take longer to resolve going to trial, but the compensation will be fair.
How do accident lawyers prepare for trial?
When a case cannot resolve during mediation, lawyer and client will then consult regarding next steps. For the law firm, this is when everyone must be “at the ready”. Subpoenas must go out, demonstrative aides must be in place, and scheduling of depositions must occur. While all of this may sound straightforward, it takes time. Coordinating schedules, ensuring demonstrative aides provide accurate information, and organizing documentation takes weeks or months. When mediation can’t resolve a case, it’s this “impasse” that necessitates the case goes to trial.
Even if mediation seems unsuccessful in a case there are exceptions to this rule. There are occasions when the insurance company will concede the night before, or even an hour before trial. This can keep the case out of the courtroom and make for very happy clients.
A settlement offer before trial?
If the insurance company concedes to a settlement prior to trial, lawyer and client must quickly consult. A lawyer takes many factors into account when advising clients of options at this stage. Every case is different. Sometimes a lawyer will want to proceed to trial. Sometimes a lawyer will advise a client to accept the settlement. No matter the outcome, it’s not a decision made lightly.
What is the most important aspect of a Personal Injury case?
What’s best for one case is never what’s best for another. Lawyers with “in the trenches” experience know that staying the course, they’re restoring quality of life, financially, for a client. Not only is this a financial success for all, but it’s also a great reduction of mental anguish due to pain and suffering. Clients knowing their lawyer believes in their case (credibility!), and when all is said and done, provides them justice is the most important aspect of any Personal Injury case.