Mediation is very common. Judges almost always order parties to a lawsuit to mediate the case before trial. Judges know that mediation works and many personal injury cases can be settled before trial. Even where a judge does not order mediation, parties often agree to mediate a case in order to resolve the dispute and save the expenses of going to trial.
Mediation is still available. You can keep or hire an attorney to give you advice and then do most of the negotiation work yourself at a much lower cost in mediation. You can even retain an attorney to represent you in court and still do much of the negotiating yourself, with help from a mediator. That can be better than paying two lawyers to negotiate with each other on behalf of the two parties. Many attorneys are happy to have their clients work with mediators to resolve most or all of the issues outside of court.