Mandatory Mediation In Workers’ Compensation Cases

In Pennsylvania, injured workers may have their workers’ compensation case decided through voluntary or mandatory mediation. The Workers’ Compensation Office of Adjudication (“Office of Adjudication”), part of Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor & Industry (DLI), provides both forms of alternative dispute resolution as an option to litigation. Mediation services are provided by workers’ compensation judges at no cost.

Whenever a claimant, employer or insurance carrier files a petition with the Office of Adjudication, at the first hearing, the Judge hearing the petition will arrange for a mandatory mediation unless she considers it a futile procedure. The mandatory mediation will not be assigned to a case’s adjudicating Judge.

Typically, the workers’ compensation Judge assigned as a mediator will seek a settlement in the form of a lump sum payment. The parties must submit a mediation statement that contains all of the pertinent data for the mediating Judge to base her decision. This information includes the claimant’s average weekly wage and payable rate of compensation.

If the mandatory mediation does not produce a settlement of the case, the parties may participate in voluntary alternative dispute resolution at a later date, even if a judge had previously found it futile.

The advantages of mediation:

  • Mediation is informal.
  • Mediation saves money and time.
  • Mediation reduces the stress that litigation typically provides.
  • Mediation improves communication between the parties.
  • Mediation narrows the issues and, therefore, streamlines litigation.
  • Mediation provides more control over the result, which makes it more predictable and better formulated to the needs of the parties.
  • Mediation provides finality.

It is important for claimants to clearly and unequivocally establish the full value of their case to obtain the maximum award possible when participating in any form of mediation. An experienced legal counsel may help applicants filing a workers’ compensation claim in Pennsylvania.

Powell Law’s unsurpassed qualifications make it an obvious choice for representation in workers’ compensation cases in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and surrounding areas. When choosing mediation as a mechanism to decide your case, the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney improves the possibility of a better final result. Contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE and you don’t pay unless we win!

Mandatory Mediation In Workers’ Compensation Cases

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