In North Carolina Workers’ compensation cases, this is mostly accomplished through a process known as Mediation. In a contested case, unless one or both parties can get an Order from the commission to dispense with mediation, it is mandatory. That means that in most cases where an attorney becomes involved in the case, and there is a dispute, the compensation carriers expect that the matter is likely to end up in mediation.
We have found that mediation is a highly effective tool to assist the parties to try to resolve the case, and in most cases, particularly in accepted cases, it is probably your best chance to obtain a clincher in your case; however, there are often circumstances, particularly in contested cases, where we must first seek a hearing with the Commission to resolve a specific issue with respect to your case before we attempt any mediation. Otherwise, you may be heading into mediation from a position of weakness and uncertainty. That is never a good place to be. Each case must be examined on its own merit.