If you and your attorney are planning to take your Defense Base Act (DBA) case to court, you may receive an offer to attend a mediation session while you are waiting for your hearing to be scheduled. Mediation is a voluntary process that offers an opportunity to resolve your case quickly (and hopefully fairly) without the need for a trial. The two parties will present their cases in front of a neutral attorney called a mediator, and the parties’ attorneys will negotiate a settlement based on their knowledge of each other’s side of the story.
If your attorney has recommended that you attend mediation, there are a few things you can do to prepare for a Defense Base Act mediation session, including:
- Do your homework. You will need all of the evidence that you plan to use in your case during your mediation. The stronger your claim is, the more likely your attorney will be able to get maximum compensation for your injuries. Make sure you have provided your attorney with all of your relevant medical records, receipts, unpaid bills, correspondence between you and your employer, and requests for reimbursement.
- Plan ahead. You should discuss whether or not you should attend your mediation session (or whether you will be able to, if your injuries are severe). Mediation can last a few hours to a few days, depending on the complexities of your case. If you are unable to sit for long periods due to your injury or need to take frequent breaks, make sure your attorney is aware of these limitations.
- Keep cool. Each party will explain his side of the case, and then listen to the opposing party’s story. It can be difficult to listen to an opposing argument that you disagree with. However, it is vital that you hear your employer’s (or insurer’s) reasons for denial with a cool head. You will be given a chance to tell your side of the story and present any evidence to refute what your employer is saying.
- Be honest. While a mediation is not a deposition, you may be asked a few questions. The important thing to remember is to always tell the truth. Even if you think your employer or insurance adjuster is lying, you are still required to tell the truth. If you are ever caught lying in a legal proceeding, a judge or jury will likely rule against you—and if mediation fails, your case will be taken to trial. Don’t lie!
- Listen to your attorney. Once both parties have presented their cases, each party will be sent to a separate room. The mediator will go back and forth between the rooms and explain the strengths and weaknesses of each case, delivering each party’s offer. These two numbers may be very far apart initially, but the mediator will work to negotiate a compromise based on the evidence. If negotiations reach a number that is acceptable to you, you may accept the offer; if not, your case will proceed to trial.
My best advice
My best advice to you is for you to always tell the truth. Always. When bringing a court case, nothing is more important than your credibility. Nothing else is even close. The DBA insurance company lawyer is going to try and make you look like you are not being honest. If this happens, the Judge will rule against you and you will lose. Bank on it. I know I do.
My second best advice
Which brings me to my second best advice. The problem is that in many instances folks get caught in traps left for them by the DBA insurance company. In other words, they don’t know that they are messing up their case. Happens all the time. Well meaning honest folks get caught in one of the DBA insurance company traps.
Which is why I strongly suggest that you read my free book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case. You don’t have to believe what I say about it - the book has dozens of 5 Star reviews on Amazon.com.
Win Your Defense Base Act Case is the best investment you are going to make. You can order it free here on this website or you can pay for it by ordering it from Amazon.com.
Also you can check out my podcast at DBAradio.com where i cover important DBA issues.
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Turley and Mara Law Fights for and Mediates DBA Cases
If you have already found an attorney you trust, the Defense Base Act law attorneys at the Turley and Mara Law Firm can act as mediators in your case. If you need someone to represent you, we are available to provide an honest and frank legal opinion on your DBA claim. I encourage you to download a free copy of our guide, Win Your Defense Base Act Case, to find out learn more about what steps to take next.