When Is Mediation Not a Good Idea?
Posted on Friday, February 10th, 2023 at 9:32 am
Many parties prefer mediation over other forms of dispute resolution because it is less expensive, faster, and confidential. The mediation process allows parties to reach a mutual agreement with the help of a neutral third party. However, that does not mean mediation is always a good idea. Sometimes, it’s a waste of time and money. So, if you’re considering mediation, you may wonder: what’s the point of mediation, and is it a good idea for your case? Here, we will discuss mediation and when it’s not worth going through.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a popular form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). During mediation, a mediator guides the parties by providing potential resolutions and keeping them focused on the significant issues of the case. Many people like mediation because of its benefits, including:
- Cost-effective: Mediation usually costs less in fees than going to court, and it requires less of your attorney’s time. So, if mediation is successful, you might save on court costs and attorneys’ fees.
- Efficient: Mediation is usually more efficient than trial because it can resolve a case in a day or two. Trials can take weeks or months to conclude. This also makes mediation potentially less stressful.
- Control over outcome: Unlike at trial, the parties have the final say during mediation. The mediator is there to facilitate communication between you and the opposing party, but they cannot decide your case. Therefore, you can reject the other party’s offer if it is inadequate.
- Confidential: Mediation is confidential, meaning nothing you say during the mediation process can be used against you at trial. As a result, if you discuss a settlement, the other party cannot bring it up at trial to lower your compensation or show you contributed to your injuries.
- Improves communication: Parties are usually more willing to openly discuss the case during mediation than in court. This can encourage a peaceful resolution.
- Narrows down issues: The mediator can help narrow down the sticking points of your negotiations so you can focus on resolving those issues. Their role is to facilitate your discussion.
When to Avoid Mediation?
Mediation has many benefits, so you’re probably wondering why you wouldn’t want to participate. Well, there are several reasons that mediation could be a waste of time and money, including:
- Zero chance of compromise: When one party thinks the other party is wrong, it is unlikely that mediation will be successful. Mediation requires that the parties hear each other out and are willing to compromise. Therefore, if you and the other party are completely at odds, mediation may not be the best option.
- If you believe a trial will give you a better result than mediation: Mediation may be a waste of time if an insurance company offers you well below what you might get at trial.
- Significant imbalance in power: Mediation is meant to be a collaborative and non-adversarial process. If there is a significant imbalance in power between you and the opposing party, mediation may not be a good idea.
- Lack of trust between the parties: Mediation is built on cooperation and compromise. Mediation may not be a good idea if you do not trust the other party to be fair. For example, if the other party has been acting in bad faith, it may be necessary to take the case to trial.
- One party has a clear advantage: Mediation may not be a good idea if one party has a clear advantage in negotiations. For example, if the other party has access to information or resources you don’t, any mediation agreement you negotiate could be unfair. Therefore, if the other party has an advantage, you should avoid mediation.
When you go to mediation, you want it to be successful. If you believe there is no chance that you and the other party can reach a mutually acceptable agreement, mediation may not be for you.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you were injured because of someone else’s wrongdoing and want to seek compensation for your losses, you might consider mediation. The attorneys of Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC can review the facts of your case during a free and confidential consultation and determine the best path forward for your case. Our team has experience in handling personal injury cases and mediation.
To discuss your legal options with one of our personal injury attorneys, contact us today at (513) 351-5997 or by filling out our online contact form.