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What is a mediation and when is it necessary?

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Mediations are becoming more and more popular in workers’ compensation cases. A mediation is a meeting in the presence of the insurance company’s attorney, a neutral third party called a mediator (usually an attorney or a representative of the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board), the injured worker and his/her attorney.

The Board requires that attempts be made to settle a workers’ compensation claim before having a formal hearing. Recorded statements, depositions and interrogatories are all conducted so parties have a better understanding of the work accident claim and what might realistically be a fair settlement to offer to avoid having to go to court.

Mediations are a last ditch effort to settle a case before it would go to court. Mediations usually take 1 to 4 hours and the goal at mediation is to settle the case. Mediation is voluntary, so you cannot be forced to settle and the insurance company cannot be forced to offer more than it feels comfortable offering. You will not testify at mediation, but you will simply listen. Your attorney may have questions for you during mediation, but you will not be put on the spot. Mediation generally takes place in an informal setting such as a conference room or law office.

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