Workers Comp Mediation in Virginia
Mediation in Virginia on the job injury cases is a VOLUNTARY process. The insurance company and defense lawyers cannot force an injured work or their family to submit to Mediation. Likewise, as much as we may want to in a particular case, we cannot force the insurer or their hired guns to agree to mediate a workplace injury case, even though it might save BOTH sides lots of time, effort and money.
As Deputy Commissioner Blevins pointed out in a recent presentation, successful Mediation depends on the parties’ willingness to negotiate in good faith towards a workable solution. This solution can be an agreement as to particular problems in the claim (like who will be the treating doctors) or settlement of the entire case. One of the other aspects of Mediation that many injured workers and their families do not understand is that the process is confidential. In other words, materials and communications during Mediation are not subject to disclosure in discovery or in any judicial or administrative proceeding, with limited exceptions. The purpose of Mediation is to identify the issues, clarify any misunderstandings, explore solutions and alternatives for resolution, and negotiate an agreement.
While the majority of the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission Mediations are scheduled for the purpose of reaching a full andy final settlement of the claim, almost any issue can be mediated. Plus, adds Herndon workplace injury lawyer Doug Landau, solutions outside of the workers compensation claim may be reached, such as “Global Settlements” where there is an on-the-job car crash or slip & fall case. Issues outside of the Workers Compensation Act that have been resolved in Mediations handled by the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd., have included: Long Term Disability insurance coverage; repayment of the workers comp lien; Social Security Disability, sick, vacation and holiday leave repayment; subsequent claims; voluntary resignation; retirement; return of work equipment; and other issues to numerous to list here. If you or someone you know or care for has been injured on the job as the result of a car, truck, bicycle or motorcycle crash or slip and fall or dog bite attack and there are questions about what laws apply, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.