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Mediators Can Make Your Settlement Successful

While many people are familiar with the idea of going to court to resolve a dispute, especially for things like lawsuits, this should always be the last resort, not the first. A lawsuit is time-consuming, requires considerable organization, effort and can be very stressful as time passes. If a dispute can be resolved without court intervention, and people find the compromise acceptable, this is a much faster, less stressful process.

This is one reason why the out of court settlement can often be a crucial factor in settling disputes. It’s not unusual for a mediator to play an essential role in this resolution.

Reasons To Settle

An out of court settlement is often the first suggestion that any seasoned personal injury lawyer will make, as this usually has the fastest outcome for a client. For example, a lawsuit can sometimes take a year or more before clients get their day in court. In contrast, a settlement can happen on the client’s timetable, not the court.

Another critical reason for settlement is that this can be done privately. Going to court with a lawsuit is a matter of public record, including the basis for the lawsuit and the amount of compensation. For people who would rather not have their concerns broadcast or disseminated by the press, an out of court settlement affords that anonymity since it is a private agreement between two parties and not privy to court or public records.

What Does The Mediator Do?

As the name suggests, the mediator is often a professional, such as a personal injury attorney, that oversees and “referees” a discussion between two parties. Obviously, for an out of court settlement, this means someone was wronged, or claims to be wronged, and is requiring compensation. The other party may or may not agree with this assessment. Even if there is an agreement on circumstances, there may not be agreement on what’s an appropriate amount to put on the settlement.

The mediator acts as an official that ensures smooth, productive discussion, moving the negotiations forward, rather than allowing them to get stuck in emotional accusations or arguments that don’t bear relevance to the financial discussions occurring.

However, it’s also important to note that a mediator is supposed to be objective, not supportive. For example, the mediator doesn’t provide therapy, emotional support, or counseling to distressed parties. The mediator also does not give legal advice on the best approach to take for maximum benefit, instead observing what options are available and guiding participants toward a resolution.

More Than One Way To Get It

While out of court settlement with a mediator is often an action participants themselves take to avoid a court case, sometimes the opposite is true. There are instances where people may go to court first, only to be told by a judge that before a trial can occur, a court-ordered mediation must take place to see if it isn’t possible to settle the dispute out of court after all.

Once a mediation occurs, the mediator is not there to tell you what is the right or the wrong decision to make. Mediators are there to prevent tensions from flaring and making the discussion unproductive. With a good mediator, arguments and emotional outbursts are held in check. The debate moves forward on finding a compromise that both parties can agree on without needing a court order.

Of course, if mediation and out of court settlement should fail, then there’s only one course of action left. Find an experienced attorney, like a personal injury lawyer, and prepare for a trial in court for a civil lawsuit, waiting on a verdict by either a judge or, more commonly, a jury to deliberate and make a decision.