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Workers’ Compensation Mediation


Workers’ compensation cases may be referred for mediation before a formal hearing is scheduled. Workers’ compensation mediation can also be voluntary, meaning an injured employee and their employer or the insurance company can choose to resolve the workers’ compensation claim through mediation. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that can help an injured employee and their employer or the insurance company reach a settlement and avoid a court hearing. In this article, we discuss workers’ compensation mediation.

What Is Workers’ Compensation Mediation?

During workers’ compensation mediation, the parties involved in the workers’ compensation case work with a neutral third party, a mediator, to resolve the case. Workers’ compensation mediation is an informal negotiation process that entails an injured worker and their employer or the insurance company discussing the claim and making settlement offers with the mediator’s help. The goal of workers’ compensation mediation is to negotiate a settlement agreement that is acceptable to all parties. Mediation seeks to resolve disputes in an amicable and cooperative manner.

What Does the Mediation Process Entail?

The injured worker and their lawyer will often be put in a separate room from the employer and the insurance company. This facilitates confidential discussions. Then, the mediator goes back and forth in the two rooms, conveying factual information, legal arguments, offers, and their opinion on the case. The mediator helps the parties identify common ground and negotiate a settlement. If the parties reach an agreement, the mediator helps prepare a settlement agreement outlining agreed-upon terms and conditions.

It is crucial to note that mediators cannot offer legal advice. The mediator’s role is to facilitate communication between the involved parties and help them reach a mutually agreeable resolution.

What Happens After the Mediation Process?

What happens after the mediation process depends on whether or not the parties reach an agreement. If parties reach an agreement, the case is considered resolved, and the terms of the settlement agreement are implemented. On the other hand, if parties cannot reach an agreement, the case may proceed to a formal hearing.

Preparing for a Workers’ Compensation Mediation

Before going into the mediation process, it is crucial that you take time to prepare. Your level of preparation can significantly impact the outcome of the mediation process. The following are some things you should do before the mediation process;

Review the Facts of Your Case

Ensure you understand all the facts of your case. Understand, among other things, the nature and extent of your injuries, the impact of those injuries on your ability to work, and the medical treatment you have received.

Gather Documentation

Collect relevant documents, such as medical records, accident reports, and any correspondence between you and your employer or the insurance company.

Prepare Your Opening Statement

At the beginning of the mediation process, each party is given an opportunity to present an opening statement. This statement allows you to express your perspective of the case. Take time to prepare a statement that articulates your perspective on the case clearly and persuasively.

Consult With a Lawyer

A qualified workers’ compensation attorney can provide legal guidance. They can help you understand your legal rights. An attorney can help you go through potential counterarguments or objections that your employer or insurance company may raise. They can help you prepare responses. Additionally, an attorney can help you prepare your opening statement.

Contact a Vermont Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Contact our skilled Vermont workers’ compensation attorney at Sluka Law Firm for help with your workers’ compensation case.

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