Mediation is the process of agreeing on a settlement for a civil case without going to court, where a judge decides the outcome. Mediation is much less expensive than paying for court fees and is usually a much quicker and more efficient way of getting your case settled and money in your pocket. One of the most common times people need to use mediation attorneys of South Florida is when they are hurt on the job and have a worker’s compensation case to contend.
If you have been hurt on the job recently and your personal injury lawyer is suggesting scheduling mediation, there are a few things you should know about the steps to mediation:
- Neutral Setting- The first step to mediation is to plan a meeting place for both parties, their lawyers, and sometimes family members with the mediator. Often this can be the mediator’s office, a lawyer’s office, or another neutral setting.
- Introductions- The mediation attorney will introduce themselves and the parties as well as explain the mediation process and what will occur in the meeting.
- Opening Remarks- Each side will be allowed one person to present it’s allegations and their side of the story, with their demands. Neither party is permitted to interrupt the other while they are speaking.
- Discussion- The bulk of mediation is discussing each party’s viewpoint and what their demands are. Questions can be respectfully asked, and the mediator will help facilitate active listening and clarification when needed. The mediator will begin working towards an agreement that both sides can be happy with.
- Caucuses- The mediator may decide to speak to one of the parties privately, or one-on-one when they believe the mediation may not be going well or they need to get the person back on track. Caucuses, or sidebars, can help parties regroup and stay on track with a productive conversation.
- Negotiation- Once the discussions have happened, and both parties present their case, evidence, and demands, it is time to negotiate. Most people don’t come out of a mediation getting everything that they want; however, mediation attorneys in South Florida and all over the world can help ensure you understand what is fair.
- Settlement Agreement- After negotiations are complete and the mediator is evident on the agreed-upon plan, they will write up the settlement agreement. Each party will receive a copy of the settlement to sign with their legal representatives and file with the court.
- Finalization- Once the settlement agreement is filed with the court, it will land on a judge’s desk where it will be finalized if approved. Sometimes parties must show up to court and talk to the judge, and other times judges do not require such.
Mediation attorneys in South Florida that represent people dealing with worker’s compensation claims are often the best way to get a fair settlement quickly. Mediation can be completed much faster than going to court. Settling your worker’s compensation claim through mediation can also be much less stressful and time-consuming than fighting it out in court.
When you need help with mediation and worker’s compensation in South Florida, call Thompson & Thomas, PA, at 531-651-4150.