Injured workers in Daytona Beach, and throughout Florida must mediate their workers' compensation claim prior to having the case heard by the Judge of Compensation claims.

Under Florida's Workers' Compensation laws, injured workers must attend mediation prior to going to trial.  Parties are required to attend State Mediation where the mediator is paid for by the State of Florida. If the parties are in agreement, a private mediation can be substituted for State Mediation.  In these cases, it is common practice for the workers' compensation insurance company to pay for the services of a "private" mediator to mediate your case.

So, what is mediation?  Mediation is an opportunity for the parties to get together and discuss the case in an informal setting.  In attendance will be the parties' lawyers, the injured worker, a mediator and an insurance adjuster (usually by phone).  Mediations are required in Florida.  The reason for the requirement is to help expedite the provision of benefits to an injured worker without the need of going before a Judge of Compensation claims.  The outcomes of mediation can be varied and range from simple solutions to extremely complex ones.  In most instances, insurance carriers come to mediation with the hopes of reaching a settlement of the entire workers' compensation case.  Depending on the facts of each case, settlement may or may not be a desired result.  If settlement is not an option, then the specific issues which brought the injured worker to mediation can be discussed.  Again, issues can range from simple items like an unpaid medical bill to complex issues of compensability.

Mediations are important in the workers' compensation system.  It can be the only opportunity for the parties to voluntarily reach some type of agreement that everyone can live with.  It also provides an opportunity to hear the pros and cons of each parties' case.  If mediation is unsuccessful, then the case moves forward to the Judge of Compensation claims

Most cases can be resolved at mediation as long as the parties attend in good faith and keep an open mind.

If you have questions regarding your workers' compensation case, please contact Johnson & Gilbert, P.A. for a free consultation at 1-800-556-8890, or request a free book on Florida's Workers' Compensation.