Workplace mishaps often have life-altering consequences. Following an on-the-job accident, you are expected to deal with many things at once – the financial blow as you may be out of work and your medical care and treatment. In Virginia, you must inform your employer within 30 days of the accident/injury and file a workers’ compensation claim. In the ideal world, you would expect the insurance company to clear your claim without any further delay, but disputes happen quite often. You can check the website of any top law firm to understand why claims are usually denied. In this post, we are discussing how workers’ compensation disputes are resolved and why mediation is a good idea.
Options to resolve workers’ compensation disputes
There are several ways in which mediation workers’ compensation disputes are resolved in Virginia. The first obvious option is to accept a settlement that has been offered. In some cases, it is also possible that the injured worker decides to come to an agreement with the insurance carrier, such as an Award Order. If things cannot be resolved, the injured worker can request a hearing before a Deputy Commissioner. The last option is mediation.
Why should you consider mediation?
- First things first, mediation is free. The Commission doesn’t charge anything for a dispute that is bought to mediation.
- Secondly, there is complete disclosure during the mediation process. The Mediator, who is a Deputy Commissioner, and all parties involved have the opportunity to discuss things and evaluate evidence that has been submitted. The mediation process takes about three hours, and everything that is said is confidential.
- Getting a settlement or coming to an agreement is considerably easier through mediation. You can expect the other party to come with a mindset that they want to resolve things.
Eventually, if things don’t get resolved through mediation, the eventual option for the injured worker is to request a hearing. This means that mediation is a better way to deal with things without going the hard way immediately.
Get an attorney
No matter whether you have mediation on your mind or not, hiring an attorney is a good idea if your claim has been denied. Insurance companies don’t have your best interests in mind, and unless you are experienced enough, you wouldn’t be able to get the due benefits. An attorney can also be on your side as your prep for the mediation process or request a hearing. Call an attorney today.