What Happens After Mediation Settlement?
Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). ADR, and mediation specifically, can be used in civil litigation to help the parties come to a settlement agreement and avoid going to court. Once a settlement is reached in mediation, several steps must be taken to ensure the settlement agreement is legally binding. This blog post will discuss the steps that follow a mediation settlement for a personal injury claim in South Carolina.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is an informal dispute resolution process. A mediator facilitates negotiations between the parties in hopes of resolving their dispute. During mediation, both parties present opening statements, and then they go into separate rooms. The mediator works between them, taking proposals and suggestions to each side, guiding them to reach an agreement that satisfies both of their needs.
It’s important to note that the mediator is not a judge and cannot make decisions for either party. The mediator is there only to help the parties find common ground. Mediation is typically less expensive and time-consuming than going to court and is often favored by those who want to resolve a claim quickly and without having to go through the lengthy legal process.
What Happens After Mediation?
After the parties involved have agreed to a settlement in mediation, the next step is to formalize the agreement and sign a binding contract. Once the agreement is finalized, each party will usually receive a copy of the document outlining the settlement terms.
Once all parties have the signed agreement, they must abide by it. If the settlement agreement requires payments, all parties must follow through with their obligation to make payment in a timely manner to avoid future disputes or costly litigation. Once the settlement terms are fulfilled, the case can be considered closed, and no further court hearings or litigation will be necessary.
What Happens After Mediation Fails?
If mediation fails to bring the parties to a settlement, the claimant may proceed with their injury claim in court. The court process involves filing a complaint, working through the discovery process, and attending a trial. During this process, both parties will present evidence and make arguments supporting their position. After hearing from both parties, the judge or jury will decide on the case.
In many cases, the defendant will be found liable for damages and will have to pay the plaintiff for their losses. Depending on the case’s specific facts, these damages can range from medical bills and lost wages to punitive damages.
How Long After Mediation Can You Go to Court?
When it comes to personal injury cases in South Carolina, the amount of time that elapses between the completion of mediation and when a case can go to court depends on the specifics of the situation. If the parties do not settle during mediation and the mediator thinks another session may be beneficial, they may be advised to return to mediation. If the mediator or either party believes no further mediation will be useful, they could bring the dispute to court. The duration of this process varies depending on the complexity of the case and the speed of the court system.
Speak with a Columbia, SC, Personal Injury Lawyer
If you suffered injuries due to another party’s negligence, contact an experienced Columbia, SC, personal injury lawyer. An attorney could review the details of your case, help you understand your options, provide insight into the chances of a successful mediation, and offer advice on how to proceed. If you go through mediation, your lawyer can help you prepare for the process and can provide legal representation throughout the negotiations. If mediation fails or you feel it is not the best option for you, a lawyer can help you prepare a strong case and represent you in court if necessary.
At Goings Law Firm, LLC, our Columbia, SC, personal injury lawyers are committed to helping accident victims recover the compensation they deserve. We have extensive experience representing victims of motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, and other types of negligence and are dedicated to providing personalized service and aggressive advocacy for each of our clients.
To learn more about how we can help you, contact us by calling (803) 350-9230 for a free consultation.