When it comes to settling your workers’ compensation claims, mediation is often a useful tool the parties can utilize in resolving a claim. Mediation is a process in which representatives from both parties (the Injured Worker and the Employer/Insurer) sit down with a neutral third party – called a mediator – in an effort to resolve a case. There are two types of mediation – private mediation, which often take place at a mediator’s office, and a Board mediation, which takes place at the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
During the course of mediation, a representative from each party will provide the mediator with a brief summary of the facts of the case as they see it. The parties will then go into separate rooms to “caucus” and the mediator will go back and forth between the parties with updated settlement demands and settlement offers. Throughout the mediation the mediator will often provide their input with respect to the relative strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case. During this process it is important to remember that the mediator is a neutral party, meaning they do not side with either party. It is also important to remember that the mediation process is confidential and information shared or disclosed during the course of the mediation will not be shared outside of the mediation.
In most instances, the mediation process is a voluntary process. This means that both parties have the right to leave the mediation at any time. Having said that, Injured Workers are strongly advised to allow the mediation process run its course. The mediation process is aimed at providing both parties with a resolution and is certainly a worthwhile endeavor. While the process may be frustrating to some at times, mediation is ultimately a powerful tool in resolving claims and typically results in equitable results for Injured Workers.
Have you or a loved one been involved in a workplace accident? It is important that you contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation in order to ensure that your rights are adequately represented. Contact the attorneys at Dan Chapman & Associates. We offer free case evaluations and collect no fees unless you win!