workers compensation

Topics: Workers' compensation, Insurance, Tort Pages: 6 (1865 words) Published: December 9, 2013
Workers Compensation is essentially a form of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical coverage to employees that are injured while working. This compensation, however, is not freely given to the employees. It is instead exchanged for the employee’s right to sue his or her employer for the tort of negligence. Depending on jurisdiction, Workers Compensation can function as various types of insurance. Wages that is lost while recovering from an injury can be paid to the employee as if they were capable of working, thus functioning as a form of disability insurance. Workers Compensation can also effectively function as health insurance as well as life insurance by paying for the injured employee’s medical expenses and paying benefits to the dependents of employees killed while working, respectively. While Workers Compensation and those that work in that specialized field can be a wonderful financial asset to injured employees and their families, such benefits and professionals that work in this field were born out of necessity due to the negligence of employers towards their employees.

While it is debatable when exactly the first Workers Compensation laws were passed, Maryland was the first state to pass a statewide Workers Compensation law in 1902 with the establishment of the Employer and Employee Cooperative Fund ("Maryland state workers'," 2013). A few years later in 1906, the first federal workers compensation law was passed; the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) ("What is the," 2013). FELA is designed to compensate railroad workers that have been injured while working, but it does not operate the same as current workers compensation laws. Under FELA, the injured railroad worker must prove that injuries sustained while working are the fault of the railroad company; being unable to prove the railroad company’s fault in the incident results in no benefits being paid to the injured party. By 1949, all of the states in the United States had some kind of Workers Compensation laws enacted to protect employees and provide for them as well as their families in a time of need ("Workers' compensation," 2010).

For an employee to receive Workers Compensation, however, certain standards are to be met and it is up to the professionals working in the Workers Compensation field to know the laws of their jurisdiction. To be sure that these professionals know exactly what they are doing and execute their job to their best extent, special education and training is required to be completed.

Training and education of Workers Compensation employees depends on the jurisdiction in which they operate in, but there are several factors and major duties that are central to every Workers Compensation employee. Workers Compensation employees mainly have to deal with the legislation of the jurisdiction in which they work, so they must know the laws of the state, this is a central factor that is common to all professionals in this field. Education and training will ensure that professionals know the purpose of Workers Compensation laws, methods of securing Workers Compensation, circumstances of injuries, perks and disadvantages of workers compensation for both the employee and employer, interaction of other workers compensation acts, how to respond to an on-the-job accident, and how to reduce on-the-job accidents.

The purpose of workers compensation laws is to provide financial coverage of any medical expenses, income protection of those absent from work due to medical reasons, and compensation for permanent injury such as loss of life or limb. Methods to secure workers compensation are: through an approved private insurance carrier, state-funded insurance, and self-insurance which is usually only provided by larger companies that can guarantee coverage regardless of the event of bankruptcy.(“Workers’ compensation training,” 2008)

The circumstances of an injury include, “arising out of employment,” and “in the...
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