How Long After Mediation Will I Get My Money?

How Long After Mediation Will I Get My Money

How long after mediation will I get my money? A mediation session can feel overwhelming, but once you reach the agreement, it can feel as though a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, whether you are arguing your personal injury case with an insurance company to cover medical bills or hoping to have more time with your children. Yet after you get a settlement agreement in a successful mediation, you may begin to wonder what happens after mediation settlement and how long it takes to receive your settlement funds from the parties involved.

Reaching a settlement agreement is the first step in resolving your case and receiving the money you have fought for, but it requires an additional process to ensure that you are paid what you are owed. This article will examine the mediation process and the effects of a mediation settlement agreement on the parties involved. It will also outline how long the process may take and some ideas for collecting the money if you are not receiving it.

Mediation Process

Mediation is a dispute resolution process where a neutral third party leads guided negotiations to help the parties find common ground and reach a legally binding mediation settlement agreement. It allows people with a legal dispute to avoid the legal process and find a way to resolve the claims with the other party. It tends to be an informal discussion between the mediator and the parties to find a way to create more interest and get everyone a deal that they can agree with.

The Benefits of Mediation

Mediation is popular because it gives control of the settlement amount and further claims to the parties involved and avoids court costs associated with litigation. By having the parties sign an agreement that resolves the current claim, they can make plans to move forward without waiting for a judge or a jury to decide the next steps.

Mediation is also voluntary, meaning the parties must choose to participate in the process. This means that the parties most likely would like to resolve the issue without going through further litigation, which usually results in more favorable settlement agreement terms. However, mediation can be court-ordered, which means that the judge in a case sees a benefit in having the parties speak with one another. This may not result in an agreement as quickly.

It allows the legal teams for both parties to address the settlement terms with a mediator, helping to avoid the substantial attorney fees that would be present in lengthy litigation. It can often be cheaper than litigation and other expenses, such as court and other fees.

Additionally, litigation can be time-consuming, while mediation is often a faster way to resolve the problem. While snags in the mediation process may require additional time, most mediations will create settlements that save money.

Process Overview

The actual process of an individual mediation depends on the parties’ needs, how the mediator chooses to help them, and other factors such as the possibility of future claims and the parties’ best interests. The mediator may separate the parties and speak directly with each party to identify creative ways to add value, or they may keep the parties together to encourage an open dialogue. The mediator can also move back and forth between these ideas to help the parties converse and address their legal needs.

The entire process may take several hours to multiple days, but it usually results in an agreement. A mediation settlement will often end in one of three ways:

  1. The parties sign a settlement agreement that resolves the dispute.
  2. The parties agree to continue working toward a resolution outside the mediation process.
  3. The parties agree that they cannot resolve the case with mediation and must work through other processes to fix it.

When the parties do not reach a mediated agreement in a mediation session, they cannot collect money. However, when there is a successful mediation to resolve the case, including payment terms, the parties must figure out a way for that payment.

What Happens After Mediation Settlement Agreements

Once you have a settlement agreement, understanding what happens after mediation settlement is often confusing. If the deal happens in mediation, the mediator will likely draft the agreement for the attorneys and the parties to sign. This signed agreement is the official resolution of the case. It is a binding contract and has all the obligations of a contract.

If a lawsuit existed before mediation began, the mediation settlement agreement must be recorded with the judge and signed into an order, especially if the judge ordered the mediation. By creating an order with the agreement, both parties have more protection and enforcement power than they would otherwise.

Collecting Settlement Money with a Settlement Agreement

While not every mediation or lawsuit will be to resolve a dispute about money, many will. Mediation and settlement agreements are prevalent within a personal injury case, especially those with the chance for a large lump sum verdict like a car accident. In these cases, the defendant often wants to pay the other party a smaller amount through mediation. When the parties sign a mediation settlement agreement that requires a settlement check, it is vital to understand how to collect that money.

The time required to collect settlement money will vary depending on the agreement’s terms and how the clients wish to receive that payment. These factors may cause specific delays in the payment process and should be considered individually.

Amount of Money in the Settlement

One of the most significant factors in how long a party will receive the payment after mediation is the amount of money that either party is required to pay. If a high settlement agreement requires a large amount up front, it can take some time for that party to get together. The larger the compensation necessary, the longer it may take, especially if a single person pays the other. When larger entities are involved, such as an insurance company, it can move more quickly.

Complexity of the Case

Another factor that can make the compensation take longer is the complexity of the case and the other requirements in the agreement. Occasionally, the parties may require terms that affect the relationship between the parties long after mediation. In some cases, they may need to agree that they will not bring any future claims that result from the same incident, or a lawyer may limit how much the party can discuss the settlement and the incident in the public eye.

When the terms are complicated, the money may be conditioned on compliance with specific terms, and the party receiving the payment must complete some tasks before receiving the money.

Method of Payment

When the parties reach a mediation settlement agreement, they must also discuss how one will pay the other party in negotiations. In most cases, the payment will be a lump sum that the person receives all at once; however, in other cases, the parties may agree that they will pay some portion to cover the medical bills, and then the client will receive the remaining funds. When there are complicating factors to how the settlement money will be disbursed, the attorney or party may take additional time to get the money to the correct place.

When the Other Party Doesn’t Pay

Occasionally, you may face a party that refuses to pay the promised compensation or takes too long after mediation to get you the settlement amount. When the other party does not complete their obligations under the contract, a court may impose sanctions and force them to abide by their signed agreement. This will ensure they comply with the settlement agreement and that the other party receives the settlement money.

Starting the Process

Suppose you have a legal dispute that may benefit from mediation, especially if an injury needs to be addressed. In that case, it can be helpful to speak to personal injury lawyers to determine the possible outcomes of your claim and whether a lawsuit would be proper. Many personal injury attorneys will give a free consultation to anyone who would like to speak about an issue that they have. They will also be able to provide you with a realistic outlook on what a settlement amount may look like for your case and what you may get in court from the defendant.

If you have a claim, an attorney can help you answer the question, “How long after mediation will I get my money?” and help you claim that money afterward.


Emily Holland
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