What is a Long-Term Disability Mediation?
A long-term disability mediation is a process in which a third-party neutral mediator tries to get your case resolved with your insurance company. This mediator is not biased toward either side of the case. The goal of the third-party mediator is to try and settle your case and come to a resolution.
Long-term disability mediations happen outside of court. Mediations can, however, be part of the court process in the form of a settlement conference. Good faith settlement discussions are almost always required by the court. That said, the third-party mediator, or settlement conference judge, has no communication with the Judge in your court case; the process is confidential.
A long-term disability mediation can involve significant negotiations between you and the insurance company, as well as the preparation of written arguments, or position statements, before the mediation. We sometimes compare a long-term disability mediation to the haggling involved in buying a used car. These mediations can involve extensive “back and forth” until both sides reach a point of resolution. It can be a frustrating experience, because for you, the mediation involves your livelihood and health. We advocate in the mediation to represent your best interests. We are there to advise you, argue the strengths of your case, and get the insurance company to put as much money on the table as possible. Our ultimate goal is to support you every step of the way.
Preparing for a Long-Term Disability Mediation
Before going into a mediation, we always spend significant time preparing with our clients so that we’re on the same page. This can include discussing a number of things. We will likely talk numbers and determine what we will and won’t accept in settlement. We may also go over our negotiation strategy, the pros and cons of the case, and the risks of moving forward with the mediation. We prepare detailed position statements with exhibits. By involving our clients in the mediation preparation process, we ensure that we come into the mediation as a strong united front, prepared to make an opening offer and negotiate with the other side.
Most long-term disability cases are resolved outside of court. Although the reality is that many cases settle, we always proceed with a case as if we are ultimately going to court, so that we are ready for battle. But because many long-term disability cases don’t end up seeing the inside of a courtroom, the mediation process is a great way for our clients to try and reach a resolution while also being able to be heard.
If you need assistance with a long-term disability matter, a private disability matter, or if you’re looking at a mediation or settlement conference as part of the court process, contact the experienced attorneys at Ronstadt Law.