Part of our Workers’ Compensation Wednesdays series

Mediation is dispute resolution. It happens after a troubleshooter is unable to successfully resolve the claim for coverage. At mediation, your attorney or advocate will exchange medical records and information with the attorney or workers’ compensation insurance adjuster. A mediator is someone who will be there to assist in facilitating a compromise between the parties. Everyone is expected to arrive to the mediation at the scheduled time. Sometimes one or more of the parties appears telephonically, meaning over the phone instead of in person. The employee’s representative will present a brief overview of what the employee is asking from the insurer. Lost wage compensation or payment of medical expenses could be part this overview. The insurer/employer representative will then give their response. The mediator is very experienced in the area of workers’ compensation law. He or she will make suggestions to the parties about options for reasonable compromises and will try to persuade one side or the other to agree. Sometimes, the mediator will ask the parties to sit in separate rooms and will discuss the issues and potential for compromise privately. Mediation is a very useful step in the process. It helps to more clearly identify the issues in dispute. Resolution of a claim during mediation is unfortunately not always the case. However, the mediators are often successful in helping the parties reach at least an interim compromise. At the end of mediation, the mediator will provide a form called the Record of Mediation for the parties to sign. The Record of Mediation identifies the terms of any compromise reached and lists the issues in dispute, if any. An administrative hearing is scheduled at a later date for consideration of any disputed issues.

Did you happen to miss our last post on how to prepare for mediation? Check it out here:

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