When you get hurt on the job, you may file a workers’ compensation claim to earn a portion of your salary and cover your medical bills while you are unable to work. Often your employer and their insurance company will try to argue this claim so they don’t have to pay.
It’s not uncommon to attend workers’ compensation mediations in these situations. You may wonder what this means for your claim and whether you will get the money you require.
What Is a Mediation In Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation?
Mediation occurs when the parties involved in a dispute hold a meeting with a third party who has no stake in the outcome of the case. If a company or worker files a dispute claim in a workers’ comp claim in PA, the case is automatically referred to mediation unless the Parties feel that mediation is completely futile.
When you attend mediation, the aim is to achieve one of two outcomes:
- Reach a settlement that is fair to both sides
- Narrow the scope of the dispute
What Happens at a Workers’ Comp Mediation?
During your mediation, an independent judge will preside. Everything that occurs remains confidential. If your case moves to a hearing, the anything you say during mediation cannot be used as evidence. The mediation judge often meets privately with both sides to understand what they seek and where compromises could be formed.
The discussions that occur during mediation are not binding. The mediation judge does not issue a ruling, and they cannot force either side to settle. In most mediations, the worker is offered a lump sum of money in return for not seeking anything further from the employer.
You may see a number and think it seems like fair compensation. But often companies offer you less than you deserve, hoping to reduce what they have to pay out. Your injury may take longer than expected to heal, and you could be out of work longer than anticipated. If that happens, you won’t get any more money from your claim.
Mediation may also touch on:
- Health insurance benefits while out of work
- Your pension
- Medical treatment
What Happens After My Workers’ Compensation Mediation?
You may choose not to settle, in which case you will move on to your workers’ compensation hearing. The judge may determine that the attorney for your employer or their insurance company doesn’t have the authority to settle the case. If the mediation does result in a settlement, then your case will not move forward.
Before you take a workers’ comp mediation settlement in PA, consult with a lawyer who specializes in this type of case to help you make the best decision for you and your family. Frommer D’Amico only handles workers’ comp cases, and we only represent workers, never employers.
We offer low fees, and we will come meet with you. Let us assist you through your case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call 717-400-1000 or get in touch online.