Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. A neutral third party, known as a mediator, assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable settlement. However, nothing is agreed upon during mediation until a mediation settlement agreement is written and signed by all parties.
Signing a mediation agreement does not mean you will see your money immediately. Sometimes, issues may arise, putting the agreement’s validity into question. As a result, what happens after mediation depends on the complexity of your case and the sophistication of the parties involved.
What’s In a Mediation Settlement Agreement?
The mediation settlement agreement outlines the contract terms the parties reached during mediation. The exact content of the settlement agreement will depend on the facts of your case. However, the following are standard provisions that may be in your mediation settlement agreement:
- Releases: Typically, the defendant will require you to release them from any further claims or causes of action relating to the dispute. This means that once all parties sign the agreement, you cannot bring additional claims against any settlement party for the same incident or injury.
- Agreement terms: The settlement agreement should clearly state how and when the defendant will pay (e.g., lump sum or installments). It can also include any other conditions relevant to your case and agreed to during mediation.
- Dismissal of claims: The agreement will usually require you to dismiss the pending claims or lawsuits related to the dispute before payment.
- Signatures: The agreement will not become legally binding until all parties sign it.
Enforcing a Mediation Settlement Agreement
Mediation does not occur until after a lawsuit has been filed with a court. Therefore, when you reach a mediation settlement agreement, your attorney should give it to the court as evidence that the case is resolved to have the lawsuit dismissed.
If any party fails to fulfill their obligations under the mediation settlement agreement, another legal dispute may be required to remedy the contractual breach. Seeking enforcement can be time-consuming. As a result, if someone fails to satisfy their obligations under the agreement, you may not see your settlement money for a substantial amount of time.
How Long After Mediation Will I Get My Money?
The timing for receiving payment after a successful mediation may vary. It depends on the terms of your agreement and the actions of the parties involved. Sometimes, payment may be due a short time after the execution of the settlement agreement. While in other cases, payment may be delayed. However, it is essential to note that even if compensation is due quickly, it does not mean you will receive your money when signing.
Typically, the payment will go to your attorney. They will place it in a trust account. Your attorney will then distribute the money as required. For example, in many cases, expenses related to your injury and lawsuit must be paid before you receive the remaining money. Once the attorney distributes the funds accordingly, you will receive the remaining funds.
What Gets Taken from My Settlement Money Before I Receive It?
In New York, several types of expenses may be deducted from a personal injury settlement, including:
- Medical bills: If you incurred medical expenses from the disputed incident, your attorney might pay these bills directly from your settlement amount.
- Insurance liens: If your insurance company made payments towards your medical bills or other expenses, they might have a right to recoup their payments on your behalf out of your settlement.
- Court costs: When you file a lawsuit, there are usually court costs and other fees associated with the case. Those may be paid from your settlement amount.
- Attorneys’ fees: When you hire an attorney to represent you, they must be paid. If you owe your attorney money, it will be deducted from your settlement amount before the rest gets distributed to you.
Once all the expenses related to your claim are paid using the settlement money, your attorney will distribute the remaining funds to you.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
When someone else causes your injury, you shouldn’t be financially burdened by their wrongdoing. To preserve your rights, contact the attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP. We can help you prepare for and increase your chances of a successful mediation. We can also ensure that all your settlement expenses are timely paid. That way, you can get your settlement as soon as possible after receiving it.
Having experienced New York personal injury attorneys fighting for your rights can make a substantial difference in your case. Protect yourself by contacting Hach & Rose, LLP at (212) 779-0057 or contact us online for a free consultation.