What’s Workers’ Compensation Mediation?
When you file a workers’ compensation claim for your work-related injury, there’s always a chance that it may get disputed. Though, typically, all parties try to stay away from disputes and try to resolve the matter without going tocourt, sometimes, that becomes inevitable.
As a last ditch effort to avoid expensive litigation, the PA Workers’ Comp Act has made it mandatory for all disputed workers’ comp claims to first go through a process of mediation.
The mediation meetings are informal, facilitated by an independent mediator who’s almost always a workers’ compensation appeals board judge (not assigned to your case), and try to resolve the dispute by making both parties see their weak points and the big picture.
Litigations vs. Mediations
Litigations are extremely costly. The verdicts, uncertain. They also take up a lot of time. Plus, most businesses generally avoid suing or disputing their injured workers’ claims because of the negative repute it brings.
Workers’ compensation attorneys also try to avoid litigation because it costs a lot of time and money. A good workers’ comp attorney always rather settle than force their injured or sick clients to relive their trauma and pain during court hearings – unless that’s the only way out to get what you are owed.
As you can see, in most cases, even with disputed claims, everyone is looking to settle.
And mediations facilitate that.
Are You Obligated To Reach A Compromise?
It’s important to remember that the process of mediation is in place to avoid conflicts and encourage comprises. Both parties will have to move from their original positions to reach a conclusion. Experienced hurt-at-work lawyers recommend their clients to take as much advantage of the mediation as possible.
However, you are under no obligation to surrender or back off. If you are being treated unfairly and your employer/their insurer aren’t willing to budge, the court may be able to see that and find in your favor when you eventually go to trial.
Do I Need A Lawyer For Workers’ Comp Mediation?
Most work-related injuries, claims, and even the mediation processes do not require lawyers. However, your chances of success and a favorable settlement substantially improve when you have someone experienced and skilled by your side.
They will be able to tell you when you are being misguided or plain manipulated by the opposing party and where you greatest strengths lie for the case. With the help of one of the best work injury lawyer near you, you will be able to receive what you deserve, with full rights and dignity.