Posted on Sunday, January 15th, 2023 at 3:17 pm
If you consider going through mediation for a personal injury claim, you may wonder how long the process typically takes. Mediation is an effective way to reach an agreement between two parties, but the time required to resolve the case can vary depending on the case’s complexity. In this blog post, we will discuss the various factors that can affect the duration of mediation in a lawsuit.
The Basics of Mediation
Mediation is an form of alternative dispute resolution where the parties come together with a neutral third-party mediator who works to facilitate a settlement. Mediation aims to help the parties reach a mutually beneficial agreement instead of having a judge or jury decide the outcome in court.
During mediation, the mediator will review the facts of the case and then work with both sides to explore options for resolution. The mediator’s role is not to make decisions but to help the parties come to a fair and reasonable resolution on their own. The mediator may suggest possible solutions and guide the process, but ultimately, it is up to the parties to decide how to resolve their differences.
Mediation is voluntary and not legally binding unless the parties agree to sign a contract once they’ve agreed to a settlement. Before that, either party can walk away from the mediation with no penalty.
How Long Does Mediation Take?
Mediation can take anywhere from a few hours to several days or weeks, depending on the case’s complexity and the parties’ willingness to reach an agreement. Generally, a full day is devoted to the process. A session could take anywhere from 4-8 hours. However, it is important to note that mediation may occur in multiple sessions, allowing for more focused discussions if needed. Mediation is a flexible process; the parties can decide how to structure the sessions or take breaks when necessary. On average, most cases are resolved in two to four sessions, depending on how complicated the issues are and how well the parties are able to negotiate. However, it is possible that final resolution, including follow-up sessions and paperwork, could take weeks or months, depending on the case’s complexity.
What Happens After Mediation?
If a mediation session ends with a settlement agreement, a formal agreement will be created and signed by all parties. The document will outline the terms and conditions of the agreement. Once the deal has been made, both parties are bound by the agreement’s terms and are expected to adhere to them.
The mediator could provide a mediation evaluation to both parties. This confidential document is an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s position.
If the mediation session ends and the parties and mediator agree that a settlement can ultimately be reached, additional sessions could be scheduled.
What Happens After Mediation Fails?
If mediation fails, the parties can advise the court that mediation was unsuccessful and request a trial date. A trial will be costly in terms of both money and time. If a jury hears the case, the trial could take months or even years.
How Long After Mediation Can You Go to Court?
If the parties are midway through the discovery process when mediation seems ineffective, they may wish to complete discovery and try mediation again. If discovery is complete at the time mediation is ineffective, the case could be set for trial. How soon the trial date will be depends upon many factors, including the court’s calendar, the availability of lawyers, and when witnesses may be available. Typically, a court hearing is scheduled anywhere from 30 days to six months after mediation has concluded.
Speak With an NYC Personal Injury Lawyer
If you suffered an injury due to another party’s actions and are considering legal action, it is important to speak with an experienced NYC personal injury lawyer. At Hach & Rose, LLP, our team of lawyers has the experience and knowledge to help you navigate the legal process, from filing a lawsuit to negotiating a settlement. We understand that each case is unique. We will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys will provide personalized attention to your claim, fighting aggressively for your rights in court if necessary. Contact us today at (212) 779-0057 for a free initial consultation.