What is a mediation?

A mediation is a proceeding in which a judge who is not going to decide your case attempts to resolve the case via negotiation.  Everything that occurs in a mediation is kept strictly confidential by the judge presiding.  Information provided to the judge by one side will not be shared with the other side unless the judge has permission to do so.  If the case does not settle, the presiding judge does not let the judge who will decide the case know what occurred in the mediation, other than to let the judge know that the parties were unable to reach a resolution. 

In general, mediations are attempts to resolve some or all of the parts of a workers' compensation case in exchange for the payment of a set amount of money that is determined during negotiations between the parties.  The negotiations to resolve a case may begin long before a mediation.  The process ordinarily occurs with the claimant's attorney issuing a demand to resolve the case, with the defendant responding, if at all, with a significantly lower number.  The parties will often go back and forth until an amount acceptable to all sides is accepted or the parties are unable to reach agreement. 

There may be other issues that are important to consider in the settlement of a workers' compensation case.  I discussed some of these issues in my book, The Wounded Worker:  Inside the Pennsylvania Workers' Comp Maze.  I also discuss these issues in another article, which you can read by clicking here.

Greg Boles
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