Mediating Workers' Comp Claims

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The purpose of a mediation in a workers' compensation case is for the parties to come together, with the assistance of an approved mediator, to attempt to settle the matter without the cost and expense of a formal hearing in front of a deputy commissioner. The main purpose of the mediation is to determine what final settlement amount (known as a "clincher") is to be paid to the injured worker as a full and final settlement of the claim.

The mediator's responsibility is to try to assist the parties to come to a compromised agreement between themselves that would "settle" the case. The mediator is usually an attorney with years of experience mediating cases. The mediator is an unbiased attorney who works for neither side and has no stake in the outcome of the case.

The mediation usually begins with the mediator bringing the injured worker, their attorney, and the employer/insurance company and their attorney into a room to discuss the merits of each party's claim. The attorney for the injured worker gives a small presentation about the injury and the medical cost, etc. Usually if the employer's insurance company has accepted the injured worker's claim, the exact medical cost and disability rating is an accepted fact by all parties. Usually the medical cost has already been paid by the employer's insurance company.

Next, the employer's attorney will make a small statement about the injuries to the worker. The "compensation rate" of the employee is usually agreed to by the parties. The mediator will divide the parties into separate rooms. The mediator will go into each room and discuss the merits and weaknesses of each party's case. Usually the injured worker will make the first initial dollar amount offer to "clinch" or settle the case. The mediator goes back and forth between the parties attempting to find a dollar amount that can be agreed upon by both parties.

If you have questions about potentially mediating your worker's compensation claim, please contact Miller Law Firm, PLLC, in Raleigh. At Miller Law Firm we fight for people throughout North Carolina that have been injured at work. Please contact us for a free initial consultation so that we can help you through this process.