Purpose of Workers Compensation Mediation
If you have filed for a work injury damages claim (also known as modified common law damages) from your employer and their insurer has rejected it, then you may need to begin a process of mediation in order to resolve the dispute. The purpose of mediation is to discuss the interests of both parties and use that information to reach a resolution that is agreeable to both sides of the negotiating table.
In order to start mediation, the claimant will need to provide a pre-filing statement, which lays out their claim and evidence. The defendant will then respond with a pre-filing defence, which lays out their details for why the claim was denied and any subsequent evidence. Once both parties have presented their case, the claim is referred to a mediator for the dispute and attempt to provide neutral insights, observations and discussion to attempt to reach a settlement agreeable to both parties.
How to be well prepared for Workers Compensation Mediation
Get legal advice
Work injury damages claims can be complex, especially if the insurer rejects the claim and the case goes to mediation or court. Getting legal support from a workers compensation claim specialist will not only make the complex process easier, it will also ensure that you are building a strong case that will maximise your chances of a fair payout.
Build a strong case
Before even going to mediation you need to build a strong case to be ready to argue your side and respond to the claims of the insurer or employer. To build a case you will need evidence for:
- The amount you’re claiming as damages and documentation to support this figure.
- Details of your injury and impairments, including when the injury happened, its severity and details of any previous injuries or conditions that may have caused the impairment.
- Medical assessment that your injuries have at least a 15% permanent impairment, evaluated by a trained specialist in whole person impairment evaluation.
- Any previous employment that may have caused the injury and any previous compensation you may have received.
- Finally, and perhaps most importantly, details of how your employer breached their duty of care, were negligent, and how this resulted in your injury.
Understand the opposing side
Once your lawyer lodges the pre-filing statement, the insurer will then respond with the pre-filing defence. This document will outline their reasons for rejecting your case and the reasoning behind their defence. Mediation is about both sides understanding the other in order to reach a mutually agreeable solution. Therefore, it is important for you to understand the defence, not just to be able to counteract them but also to understand where the other side is coming from for more effective mediation.
Understand what you want
When preparing for mediation it is important to understand what would be acceptable to you to end the dispute. Here you should consider talking to your lawyer to understand what level of compensation you are reasonably entitled to and what lump sum you should consider accepting if it is offered.