What Is A Mediation In A North Carolina Workers' Compensation Case?

Throughout the progression of a North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Case, numerous conflicts may surface, ranging from outright claim rejections to disputes over the medical care prescribed.

Frequent issues that emerge are:

  • Rejection of claims
  • Disputes regarding the need for certain medical interventions
  • Discrepancies over specialist referrals

The North Carolina Industrial Commission is responsible for adjudicating these matters.

In the event that a hearing is requested, each matter is routed to mediation. Mediation is simply a meeting of the two parties. This meeting is designed to iron out the contentious points between the injured party and the employer.

Key mediation steps include:

  • Choosing a mutually agreeable mediator.
  • Arranging a schedule for the settlement conference.
  • Conducting the mediation typically within three months of the hearing request.
  • Both parties engaging, in person or online, to address pending issues before the Commission.

The mediation, which might span three to five hours depending on the case’s facts, often includes settlement discussions, aiming to conclusively address the workers’ compensation claim.

The Mediator’s Function

Acting as a neutral facilitator, the mediator does not issue a binding decision but encourages a mutually acceptable settlement.

What Happens After Mediation?

Successful mediation can lead to the full or partial resolution of the claim. Should mediation not yield an agreement, the case advances to the Industrial Commission for a more formal resolution.

Here, a deputy commissioner evaluates the conflicts to determine the merits of each party’s stance.


North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system is characterized by its administrative nature and the inherent opposition between employee and employer. Mediation is a key step in this process, serving as a vehicle for negotiation and potential resolution of the disputes that arise during the life of a North Carolina Workers Compensation Claim.