According to the Social Security Office of Policy, the original goal of workers’ comp was to provide a system that protects workers if they’re injured or becoming during the course of their work. It offers benefits like partial wage replacement and medical care to the affected employee while also protecting employers from potentially fraudulent lawsuits for negligence and unpredictable situations.
When the program initially began back in 1914, the federal program covered civilian employees who engaged in hazardous work but that was expanded to all federal employees, with state employees being covered not long after. Within seven years, nearly every state had workers’ compensation laws.
Workers’ Compensation Laws Today
Today, every state and territory in the country has a workers’ compensation program. The agreements made have similar categories of benefits and some common principles, although the details as far as administrative methods and the level of benefits vary dramatically according to each state. The basic principle is that benefits would be given to affected workers without regard to fault, while employers would face limited liability. That means that regardless of who caused the injury, as long as it was related to their employment, the worker would be entitled to benefits. Employers would be responsible for the benefits outlined in the statute in exchange for the elimination of negligence lawsuits.
If the employer does not follow through in providing these benefits as they should, in some situations, it’s necessary to obtain a workers’ compensation lawyer in Pittsburgh, or the city in which the incident occurs or the employee resides.
Workers’ Compensation = Insurance
Workers’ compensation is a kind of insurance that provides restitution for medical care for an employee who is injured at the workplace or performing duties for their employer, such as a truck driver out on the road transporting goods. They receive these benefits in exchange for forfeiting their rights to sue the employer for negligence. While plans differ according to various state court districts, they may receive weekly payments in lieu of wages, like a form of disability insurance, as well as compensation for both past and future financial losses in addition to reimbursement or payment of medical expenses as a kind of health insurance. Benefits are also payable to a worker’s dependents if they’re killed on the job as a type of life insurance.
The Purpose of Workers’ Compensation
The purpose of workers’ compensation law is to ensure employees who are injured or become ill on the job are provided with insurance coverage that will compensate them for medical care, lost wages and possibly vocational rehabilitation. It was designed to be a strict liability system, which means it isn’t necessary to prove who was at fault to obtain benefits, only that the illness or accident was work-related.
Before the workers’ compensation program began, an ill or injured employee had to hire a lawyer and prove in court that the incident occurred because of the employer’s negligence. Now, in exchange for the benefits that are provided under workers’ comp laws, the employee agrees not to sue the employer for causing an illness or injury. There are some exceptions, however, such as an employer that fails to remedy a known hazard or an employer that is in violation of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations.