FAQs on Georgia Workers’ Compensation Mediation: What Can I Expect?
On its website, sbwc.georgia.gov, the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation answers frequently asked questions about mediating workers’ compensation cases. Here are a few of the Board’s questions and answers.
What can I expect during my workers’ compensation mediation?
Mediations are informal and relaxed. You do not need to be nervous about the process. Your attorney will be present, along with the insurance representative, potentially the employer, and counsel for these parties. The mediator will likely start out with everyone in the same room to provide introductions and give the parties an idea about his or her mediating style. After that, the parties will go into separate rooms and will meet with the mediator separately. The mediator is not a judge but a neutral participant. He or she will not choose sides but will take necessary information to the other side to facilitate an agreement while honoring confidentiality. It is the mediator’s job to encourage discussion, help the parties evaluate solutions, and assist the parties in arriving at an agreement they all find acceptable. The mediator may offer suggestions, but any final decisions are completely up to the parties.
How freely can I speak about my case during mediation?
Mediation is a confidential process protected by the Board and the courts. The information you share during mediation will not be used against you in future proceedings. Your mediator cannot be subpoenaed to testify about the information he or she learned during mediation of your case. The mediator will destroy his or her notes right after the conclusion of your mediation and will not share any copies with the Board. The Board will only receive a simple form indicating that the mediation took place, documenting who was present, and documenting whether an agreement resulted.
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Sources: Cited in the article
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