What Should You Not Say During Mediation?
Have you been unable to reach a personal injury settlement agreement? If so, meditation might be the right option for you. Mediation is a process of resolving disputes with the assistance of an impartial third party, known as a mediator. Mediation aims to facilitate communication, identify the interests and needs of the parties, and reach a mutually acceptable solution. Here we will list some things not to say during mediation and how to find success in your legal meetings.
Benefits of Mediation
Mediation is a popular form of dispute resolution because it is:
- Cost-effective: Mediation can resolve a case quickly compared to a trial. Therefore, resolving your case during mediation usually costs less money.
- Confidential: The mediation process is confidential, which is vital to the parties’ comfort level in sharing sensitive information.
- Flexible: The parties can tailor mediation to their needs, so they can adjust the process if something isn’t working for them.
- Greater control over outcome: Unlike judges, mediators do not have the authority to make decisions about your case. This means you do not have to accept the mediator’s proposed solutions if you don’t like them.
How to Increase Your Odds of Success
Unfortunately, mediation does not always end with a resolution. This is because mediation requires parties to work together to reach an agreement. When the parties cannot or don’t want to work together, it can result in mediation being unsuccessful.
To increase your chances of mediation ending in a settlement, avoid saying the following during mediation:
- Don’t make threats: Threatening the other party or their attorney can escalate the situation. Mediation is a collaborative and non-confrontational process. Therefore, it is essential to stay calm and keep a good attitude.
- Don’t use profanity: Avoid profanities because they can offend the other party. If the other party finds your language offensive, it could damage your relationship, making it challenging to resolve. Therefore, you should never use derogatory language during mediation.
- Don’t make accusations: Making accusations during mediation can cause the opposing party to become defensive. For a successful mediation, you have to be able to work with the other party. Putting the other party on the defense can make it extremely hard to work together toward a fair settlement agreement. Instead of making accusations, you should focus on presenting your perspective calmly and rationally.
- Don’t be disrespectful: Being respectful towards the other party and their attorney is essential. This is because rude behavior can put everyone on the defensive and make them unwilling to compromise. Focus on being respectful during the mediation process to increase the chances of success.
- Don’t discuss unrelated issues: Discussing unrelated issues can distract from the main points, making it hard for you to reach an agreement. Instead, you should stick to the relevant claims to the dispute so that mediation can stay on track.
- Don’t lie: Open and honest communication is critical to a successful mediation. Lying during mediation can harm the trust between you and the other party. Once you lose trust in each other, it becomes more challenging to reach a fair settlement.
- Don’t claim confidentiality: Mediation is private, so claiming something is confidential can decrease the other party’s willingness to be open and honest. Additionally, refusing to share information can cause skepticism about the strengths of your case. For example, if the other party believes you have a weak case, they will be less likely to settle because they may think the case will be dismissed if they go to court.
- Don’t make ultimatums: You must work together to reach a mutual resolution. You should avoid making ultimatums because it will put the other side on the defensive, decreasing your chances of a successful mediation.
- Don’t make new demands: Before mediation, your attorney likely sent a demand letter seeking compensation and relief. The other party probably rejected the request because they didn’t believe it was fair. This means if you go into mediation, asking for more than you asked for previously can end mediation before it even gets going.
Mediation is a confidential and cooperative process that requires parties to choose their words carefully. To increase your odds of a successful mediation, you should never say something that will put the other party on the defensive.
Contact a Mediation Attorney Today
If you have a personal injury case and are considering mediation, contact the personal injury attorneys of Loewy Law Firm. Our legal team is dedicated to providing clients with the representation they need. This representation includes preparing you for mediation and understanding what and what not to say throughout the process.
To discuss your options during a consultation with an experienced member of our team, call us at (512) 280-0800 or contact us online.