While both sides may acknowledge that there is no doubt that an employee was injured while performing work duties, the most common point of contention between the injured party and the employer’s insurance company is the correct compensation amount. The insurance company often offers one settlement number while you put forth a higher sum, and if you can’t come to an agreement, your case will head to court. But before a judge rules on the matter, oftentimes a mediation session is called in hopes of finding a solution that both sides find agreeable. In today’s blog, we share some tips for how you can prepare for this mediation session so you can get a better offer and agreement.
Getting Ready For Mediation
If you’re hoping to come to an agreement over your work injury settlement through professional mediation, here are some things you’ll want to do prior to this meeting to help ensure you’re prepared to make a strong case.
1. Hire a Lawyer – Odds are you already have a lawyer if you are considering mediation, but if not, you absolutely need to have a professional in your corner. The insurance company will have a number of professionals ready to make their case, and it’s going to be tough to make a convincing argument if you’re not used to countering similar points. You need to have a lawyer if you’re hoping to settle through mediation.
2. Cover All The Facts – Next, sit down with your lawyer and cover all the facts of the case. Make sure you provide them all as much information as possible so that they can make the strongest case possible. You can also explain which aspects you want the lawyer to highlight so that they can prepare those arguments as well as rebuttals to any challenges they may face.
3. Discuss Your Goals – While you may be hoping for $175,000, you may be willing to settle for $150,000. Talk with your lawyer about your settlement goals including what you hope to receive and what is the absolute minimum you’d accept. If your lawyer knows what’s most important to you, they can angle for it during mediation.
4. The Day Of – When the day of your mediation appointment arrives, be sure to dress appropriately, arrive a few minutes early and be polite to all parties involved. While the mediator is supposed to help negotiate a settlement based on facts alone, it’s impossible to completely remove the human element, so being timely and acting professionally can end up factoring into the mediation process.
Your lawyer will do the heavy lifting during the mediation session, but you also need to be paying attention in case you are asked to give your side of events or answer any questions. At the end of the day you can always walk away from mediation if you are not satisfied with the offer, but a judge’s decision can oftentimes mimic that of the mediator’s if the facts and arguments remain similar, which is why it’s so important to try to reach a fair settlement during mediation.
So if you need help with the mediation process or are confused about any aspect of your work injury case, reach out to Dean and the experienced team of legal experts at Margolis Law Firm today.
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