What is a Mediation in DBA Law
I’m actually preparing for a mediation that’s going to take place in Orlando tomorrow. And I just thought I’d take a break from my preparation and explain what is a mediation under the Defense Base Act law?
Reason One that Mediations Occur in a Claim
Maximum Medical Improvement
Mediations occur one of two times during the period of your claim: Number one is when the insurance company has been paying you and paying for your medical treatment and you’re at what’s called maximum medical improvement. So you have disabilities and you’re going to be paid indefinitely for your lack of earning capacity for your future.
However both parties decide that it may be in everyone’s best interest to get a lump sum together for your future medical expenses and your for your future compensation benefits. And have the insurance company close your file out and have you get a lump sum so that you can move on and get on with your life.
When that happens and both parties agree to that because we’re talking about a good deal of money in a lump sum normally both sides would like to do a more formal negotiation instead of just over the the phone. So what we do is a mediation. For instance tomorrow’s mediation is taking place in Orlando.
I have a person from St. Petersburg Florida who is an annuities broker who’s going to be there with us. The mediator is coming from Jacksonville and the opposing counsel is coming from San Francisco California.
So we’re all going to converge and meet at a hotel near the airport. We’re going to have two rooms available. And we’ll go back and forth and see if we can hammer out some kind of agreement.
If we can’t then we just move forward and the benefits continue to be paid just like nothing ever happened.
Reason Two for a Mediation
Both Sides Agree
The second reason why mediation would occur is when we’re involved in mediation and we have a court date coming up. And one side or the other decides that it might be in their interest instead of going to a judge to have their claim adjudicated where you could win or lose.
And it could be a zero or a lot or somewhere in between. And you don’t have control over the situation. That’s when both parties decide they might want to do a mediation instead of going to a judge in the near future and have their fate handed by a judge that makes determination on his or her own.
And so I just wanted to explain that a mediation is simply all voluntary. It’s not an arbitration where nothing is binding.
Everything is private and confidential during the mediation and they to tend to turn out pretty well.
Three Ways a Mediation Can End
There’s only three ways that mediation can end:
1.) is you go to the judge and say this case has been settled.
2.) there’s an impasse and everyone says someone ran out the door we’re not going to come to an a meeting of the minds. We’re going to have to have a trial in this matter.
Keep Option Open
3.) is we’re going to keep our thoughts together. We’re close enough that we might want to continue on with a mediator over the phone in the future say for phone for the next 10 days or so and see if we can bridge that gap.
Those are the three things that happen. And those are the only things that the judge or anyone else would know that’s not in that room as to the outcome of what that mediation was. Just one of those three things.
So I hope I gave you some sort of insight in terms of what a mediation is.
They’re obviously not scary. They’re actually very fun in terms of when you see money on the table on a piece of paper it’s different than saying things verbally.
So when you have a tablet out there and there’s money on one column and money on the other column it turns out to be kind of real. It’s real when it’s put down on a piece of paper.
How Does a Mediation Usually End?
Both sides are sometimes frustrated at the end of a mediation. The insurance company thinks that they’ve paid way too much and the claimant thinks that maybe they got too little.
And I guess that’s probably the best way a mediation ends. Each side has to give to make it happen.
And then of course a week later everyone’s happy. But that’s of course that’s the best mediation that I could come up with that both sides are sad but then at the end of the everything’s satisfying after the paperwork goes through and the check actually comes.
So again Brian Wiklendt signing out with Garfinkel Schwartz here in Maitland. Talk to you later.