You can use mediation for many different legal issues, from insurance disputes to employment disputes to issues with your neighbor. Mediation just means working closely with a neutral mediator to come to a solution, rather than taking the same case to court and letting a judge rule on it. For instance, if you think that a doctor harmed you during surgery, mediation may help you reach a settlement without the hassle of actually suing the hospital in court.

One of the benefits of mediation is that, in some cases, you may get better results than if you went to court. This is not a guarantee, as there are no guarantees in any legal case. But it can be better when used properly.

Why is this? Well, both sides can work together to get what they want. In court, you work against one another. With mediation, you can make compromises. For instance, you may discover that the hospital isn’t as worried about paying you a settlement as they are about admitting guilt. Keeping the case out of court could mean they don’t have to admit guilt and you still get paid. It’s better for both sides.

The flexible nature of mediation, with the control that you get, also comes into play. With a court case, the outcome is whatever the judge thinks is best. With mediation, it’s a compromise with what you and the other party believe is best. This increases the odds that you’ll both see it as a fair outcome.

If you’re considering mediation for any case, you need to know what steps to take and how to make it go smoothly.