By Maya Johnson
When working, the firm you are working for should provide guarantees that nothing ill will happen to you while working there. It is the basic requirement for any company to provide the safest possible condition for the line of work they are in. Of course, a job at the office and a job on the field have different degrees of danger associated with them. With all the precautions taken, and all the guarantees that the company can provide, accidents at the workplace still happen, because sometimes, due to human error, or some other accidental occurrence, it is impossible to avoid employee injuries.
When accidents do occur, and when any employee has received an injury at the workplace, then, according to the workers’ compensation laws*, the employee in question is entitled to certain compensation in accordance with the severity of the injury received. The compensations can vary from covering the expenses of medical costs (for minor injuries) to monthly installments (if the injury caused disabilities that may prevent the employee from working again) to even covering the expenses of burial (if the injury was lethal). When in such a situation, there are two options that you can take:
1. Go through legal systems (courts) to obtain the compensation you are entitled to or;
2. Resolve the matter through the Alternative Dispute Resolution
Going through legal systems can often be very exhausting and very costly, making it a tiresome venture, and may end up to be a bad image for the company. This is why it is in the interest of both parties to settle the matter as quickly as possible. This is rarely possible through the legal systems, and that is why these things are usually resolved through the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
Alternative Dispute Resolution is a process which is conducted away from the legal systems. In this process the dispute is taken to an independent third party who is to help them resolve the issue. The decisions made here are not judicial decisions, and as such they are not made in tribunals or courts. This way, it may be easier to come to an agreement in the cases of workplace injuries. There are three types of Alternative Dispute Resolution:
Agreement can be reached during any of these types of ADR. First, the third party (formally called “dispute resolution practitioner”) tries to use the Facilitative method, if that does not lead to the agreement, then the third party tries to use the Advisory method, and finally, if these two fail, then to use the Determinative method to help resolve the dispute.