America was built by generations of hardworking individuals, and our nation continues to be refined and improved by workers at all skill levels and from all walks of life. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance meant to help mitigate the negative effects when a worker is injured on the job. It is a benefit that workers are entitled to, although it is also a resource that no worker wants to have to tap into. In the event a workers’ comp claim is necessary, working with great legal team like Feroleto Law can make a big difference in securing a positive outcome.
The History of Workers’ Compensation
Many workers today understand that workers’ compensation is a benefit that they receive in exchange for their efforts on the job. Few, however, understand the history behind this essential benefit, or how workers’ compensation came to be such an integral part of the American workforce.
Historians find evidence of workers’ compensation efforts dating back to ancient Greece, China, and Arabian cultures. The Industrial Revolution brought about more complex manufacturing techniques, and as a result, workplace injuries became more common. Employers at this time definitely had the upper hand, however, as laws were written to allow numerous ways for employers to avoid liability when workers were injured on the job.
By the late 19th century, several European nations began to implement laws to extend protections to workers. While these laws were not perfect, they did begin to tip the scales in a way that acknowledged the rights of workers.
In America, Wisconsin was the first state to enact workers’ compensation legislation in 1911. It wasn’t until Mississippi enacted similar legislation in 1948 that all states offered some form of worker protections. Today, workers in every state can rest assured that they have worker’s compensation coverage and an avenue of legal recourse in the event they sustain an injury while on the job.
Why would I need workers’ compensation benefits?
Like most types of insurance, workers’ compensation benefits are something that no worker wants to access. Just like homeowners don’t wish for a tornado to damage their roof and drivers don’t hope to be caught in a pile-up on the highway, workers hope that workers’ compensation benefits are not something they’ll ever need to access.
However, when a workplace injury arises, having this coverage is important. Some of the benefits of workers’ compensation include:
- Help paying for medical expenses related to a workplace injury
- Help covering the cost of ongoing care, like physical therapy
- Compensation for lost wages for the span of time you are unable to return to work
- Payments to families in the event of a death caused by a workplace injury
Having these benefits in place helps workers feel secure that sustaining an injury at work won’t lead to financial ruin. While you may not spend a lot of time thinking about workers’ compensation, most workers are aware that there is a structure in place to protect their interests in the event an injury occurs.
What types of workplace injuries are covered by workers’ compensation?
Just as every work environment is unique, so are the types of injuries that workers might experience. Fortunately, workers’ compensation is designed to address a wide range of workers’ needs, no matter the type of severity of their injuries.
In many cases, a workplace injury is relatively simple. You might need to have a laceration sutured in an urgent care facility, you might need to take some time off while a burn heals or seek treatment for injuries sustained during a trip-and-fall accident.
Some workers sustain injuries that require ongoing care. Examples include back pain or joint issues, which often need a period of physical therapy to strengthen the affected area. It’s also possible to develop an illness from various workplace conditions, in which case ongoing care might be needed. An example would be developing cancer as a result of exposure to dangerous chemicals or fumes.
Repetitive injuries are another type of injury covered by workers’ compensation. Workers who sit or stand for long periods of time are at risk of repetitive injury, as are those who perform repetitive tasks throughout their shifts. These injuries might need a period of physical therapy or other ongoing care.
When an injury is severe, a worker can become disabled, and will no longer be able to perform his or her job. Workers’ compensation can help cover the cost of treatment as well as replace a portion of missed wages when an injury creates a disability.
Know your workers’ compensation rights
If you or a loved one sustains a workplace injury, it’s important to know your rights under the law. Working with a skilled legal team like Feroleto Law can help you navigate a workers’ compensation claim in a way that yields the best possible outcomes. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the office if you have questions or concerns about your workers’ compensation benefits.