A mediated settlement conference is most often the best method for settling your case. You will probably get top dollar by settling your case through mediation.
Mediation is simply a meeting at which you, your attorney, and an attorney for your employer or insurance company are present.
There is a third lawyer, the mediator. He or she is a neutral third party whose only job is to try to get you and the insurance company to agree on an amount of money to settle the case. The mediator has no authority; he or she cannot order the insurance company to pay you a certain amount.
You are the boss at the mediation. Only you can accept or reject the amount the insurance company offers; only you have settlement authority. No court, no judge, or anyone at the Industrial Commission can determine the appropriate amount you get for your injury.
The only way a case ends in North Carolina is that you and the carrier agree on an amount.
And a case can stay open indefinitely. There is no time limit on settling your case.
Whether you live in Charlotte or Shallotte, Murphy or Morrisville, MMI does not matter for settlement purposes.
I like for my clients to bring a close friend or family member to mediation with them.