Workers compensation and alternate dispute resolution

Michigan workers compensation lawyer explains the benefits of mediation and facilitation.

There is nothing pleasant about a workers compensation case. Most of our clients believe that they have been mistreated and are angry. Some are in pain and need immediate medical care. Others have no income and are struggling to support their families.

A Michigan workers compensation case can take months or years to resolve. This is simply unacceptable for our clients and one of the major reasons why they choose to settle their cases.

Michigan workers compensation law allows an individual to trade future benefits for a lump sum cash payment. The issue always becomes how much is a fair settlement. A good way to bring both sides together and reach a fair amount is through alternate dispute resolution.

Here is some information about mediation and facilitation that could help settle your workers compensation case in Michigan.

Mediation and workers compensation in Michigan

Some workers compensation cases will be automatically scheduled for mediation.  This typically occurs when the issues in the case appear to involve only medical or a small amount of wage loss benefits.

Mediation is an informal process where a state mediator will attempt to bring the parties together in the hopes of resolving their differences. You will have a chance to tell the mediator why benefits should be paid in your case. If mediation is not successful, the case will be assigned to a magistrate for further action.

Even if your case is not automatically set for mediation, you can always ask the magistrate to transfer your case to the mediator. This will give you the opportunity to resolve your case without trial.

Facilitation and workers compensation in Michigan

Most workers compensation cases must go through facilitation before trial can begin.  Facilitation gives both sides the opportunity to informally present their arguments to  another magistrate who will not be deciding the case. 

The magistrate will attempt to come up with a dollar amount for settlement. Many workers compensation cases are resolved through facilitation but neither side has to accept the amount suggested by the magistrate.

Facilitation is important because it allows both sides to get a feel for the value of a case and reinforces the fact that either party can lose at trial.

Help is available for your Michigan workers compensation case

You do not have to fight alone. An experienced workers compensation lawyer can help you recover all the benefits available under the law.

Call (855) 221-2667 to speak with a workers compensation lawyer today. We offer free telephone advice and office consultations. There is never a fee unless workers compensation benefits are recovered for you.

Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years.  Alex has helped countless people obtain workers compensation benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.

Related information:

Video: Injured at work? Advice from a Michigan workers comp lawyer

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Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by buddawiggi.

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