If you’re dealing with a workers’ comp case, it’s possible that you might have to have a mediation. But what is a mediation exactly? Why is it important in your workers’ compensation claim? Read on for more information about the benefits of having a mediator and how they can help you get the settlement you deserve.
What is a Mediation?
Also known as mediated settlement conferences, mediations are informal meetings where a neutral party will hear both sides of your case and help you work out a compromise. If that happens your case can settle there.
There are several reasons why your case might go to mediation. For example, if your claim is denied, the Industrial Commission will probably order your case to mediation before it goes to a hearing.
Another reason you might go to mediation is if your case has gone on for a long time. The Industrial Commission will want to see if mediation can help wrap up your case in a satisfactory way for both parties.
However, just because you are required to go to mediation doesn’t mean it has to end in any kind of agreement. The only requirement is that you are there — which means if you are uncomfortable with the compromise suggested in mediation, you don’t have to agree to it. If you do reach an agreement, it will be written up, and boths sides will be asked to sign it. Once that happens, the decision is final: there is no backing out.
Another good thing to keep in mind is that the objective of a mediation isn’t necessarily to settle your case. In many instances, you and your case might not be ready for settlement. But that doesn’t mean your mediation is a waste of time. You can still come to agreements on other things such as a change of physicians, approval of surgery, raising your weekly checks etc. These things will put you on a much faster route to settlement and ensure that you’re getting a settlement that’s fair to you.
How do you know if mediation is right for you?
What are the advantages of mediation?
There are several benefits to mediation. First, it helps avoid unnecessary litigation. Litigation can also take years to get resolved. With mediation, you can get back to work sooner and save money.
Second, mediation gives you more control over how your case proceeds. Instead of having to follow a judge's orders, you can choose who represents you at mediation. You can also ask questions about the process and help guide it along.
Third, mediation allows you to focus on healing rather than fighting. When you're dealing with a lawsuit, you're forced to spend most of your energy thinking about the case. This takes away from your ability to heal. Mediation lets you focus on yourself and your health.
Finally, mediation provides an opportunity to build relationships with others involved in your case. By working together, you can better understand the issues and reach a resolution.
Can I use a lawyer in a mediation?
Yes, you can. You may want to consider hiring a lawyer even if you plan to use a mediator. Lawyers know the law and can help you navigate through the legal system. If you hire a lawyer, you won't be able to negotiate directly with the other party.