Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It takes place prior to a hearing in court to try to resolve issues and agree on a settlement.
Workers’ comp mediation hearings generally take between two and four hours but can be shorter or longer depending on the facts of your case and the attitude of the parties involved.
If you’ve suffered a workplace injury and are considering mediation, a workers’ comp lawyer can help you through the mediation process and negotiate for the settlement you deserve.
What Happens at a Workers’ Comp Mediation Hearing?
A workers’ comp mediation hearing takes place at either the mediator’s office, one of the attorneys’ offices, or a neutral office. Parties who attend workers’ comp mediation hearings include:
- Your attorney,
- The mediator,
- The workers’ compensation insurer’s attorney, and
- The workers’ compensation insurance adjuster.
You may also have your spouse, a close family member or friend attend to support you.
After arriving for the mediation, both parties are sent to separate conference rooms. The mediator begins by making an opening statement outlining the goals for the mediation and his or her role in the process. You and your attorney will then have a chance to outline the key points of your case.
After outlining your arguments, the workers’ compensation insurance company will begin by making an offer and you will have the chance to counteroffer. All offers and counteroffers are made to the mediator, who then relays the information to the other party. This process will repeat throughout the mediation until you either agree on a settlement amount or decide you no longer want to continue the mediation.
How Should I Prepare for a Workers’ Comp Mediation Hearing?
To prepare for your workers’ comp mediation hearing, you should first meet with your attorney. You should discuss the facts of your case and the medical and legal issues involved. It is also important to discuss the arguments you want your attorney to make during the mediation and the strengths and weaknesses of those arguments.
Prior to the mediation, your attorney will submit documents so that the mediator understands the facts of the case, the issues involved, and the amount of compensation you wish to receive. You may need to get your attorney certain records, such as medical or employment records, to support the documents submitted by your attorney.
On the day of the mediation, you should make sure you are well-rested, arrive on time, dress professionally, and are polite to all parties involved.
Do I Need a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
Because most workers’ compensation claims that go to mediation are complex, you should hire a workers’ comp lawyer. A workers’ comp lawyer will help you provide a detailed analysis of your workers’ compensation claim, calculate a reasonable settlement demand, and negotiate for the best possible settlement during the mediation.
Our workers’ comp lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., have handled hundreds of Minnesota workers’ comp cases. We will use our experience to negotiate the best possible settlement for you during your workers’ comp mediation.Contact us today with any questions you may have or to schedule your free consultation.