Workers compensation

Workers compensation is a division of tort law, or rather a type of insurance that is in place to provide medical care for employees who are injured during the course of employment or performing the functions of their employment positions.  Workers compensation is set up to provide compensation for the and to the employee in exchange for that employee’s right to sue the employer for the injury that they sustained on the job.  If the claim is approved the employee is given a form of a stipend on a weekly or biweekly basis while they are considered physically unable to work as a result of the injury that they sustained.

In such a litigious age as this one tort reform has come full circle and found its way back to the original…workers compensation.  By the turn of the twentieth century liability insurance had become an established ingredient of the U.S. tort system and worker’s compensation is the oldest element of tort reform put in place to cover employers’ liability to their employees.[1]  People can think of just about any reason under the sun to bring suit within our present legal system, but an employee who seeks to bring suit against their employer still has an uphill battle to fight if they want their claim to be taken seriously.Worker’s compensation ensures quality care if injured on the job but nothing more is guaranteed beyond that.

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  Worker’s compensation removed the aspect of tort liability from the employer-employee relationship giving protection to both parties involved.  Workers compensation was the original tort reform, and is still the most fundamental tort reform ever undertaken.[2]  Workers compensation is all about employment position and the situation leading up to the employees injury, should the employer be held liable for any injury occurred on the job and what amount of the liability is dependent upon the employee himself.  With this being the case the workers compensation system obtains records regarding the injured employees’ personal information and a full medical examination.It may often appear that the clinic or medical facility where the employee is sent is asking them questions or requesting information tat as absolutely nothing to do with the workers compensation claim but the fact of the matter is that a great many thing that may seem miniscule can affect ones work performance and could unknowingly lead to an incident on the job.  Prescription medications, the use of alcohol or any other substance in recent days or weeks, whether or not the employee is getting any sleep at home and if they are, how much sleep or what kind of sleep pattern they have is very vital information but people tend to think that only alcohol and illegal drugs that may have been ingested prior to or during the accident are pertinent to the workers compensation claim.

  This may not always be true.  The questions asked are not intended to frighten the claimant as much as they are to provide the employer and its representatives with the information necessary to the employees’ claim for workers compensation.Te courts that hear workers compensation claims are always overloaded with cases, so the intention of the types of information that employers and medical officials seek in workers compensation claims is the type of information that can be used to weed out the litigious individuals.  The medical examination and obtaining of personal information is used to determine whether or not the claim for workers compensation should be considered valid before it makes it to the legal process; if the claim is not considered valid then it will never make it to court, which give more time for legal dedication to valid workers compensation claims.The one particular or rather the strongest area of workers compensation reform that still requires being reformed is the return to work element.

  The medial professionals who perform workers compensation medical examinations, both when the employee is injured and prior to them returning to work are employed and compensated by the employer themselves.  The issue then comes in with whether or not the medical professionals are in fact remaining professional – if their medical examinations are influenced by the fact that the company is paying them then they cannot be fully objective and thus trusted to send the employee back to work when it is medically best for the employee to return to work.Unintentionally, not unlike other forms of tort law, workers compensation can take some things away from plaintiffs (the injured employee) that is of no intention of the legislation itself and may not be of the intention of the employer either.  The employee who has suffered the injury doesn’t always get the compensation that they need or deserve, which of course is kind of the purpose of workers compensation in the first place.  There are no provisions in place that would or could in any way guarantee an employee full employment benefits while recovering from an injury in the same way that employees do not receive full employments benefits from such government programs as unemployment insurance whether they are employed or not.

Tort law is thus one of the most flawed aspect of legislation because it is not as cut and dry as other areas of the law.  Tort law is in place to determine liability and the administration of damages or compensation; it is not in place to decipher inherently what is or is not considered legally acceptable, so in some instances tort law may fall far short of what may be considered fair.  Workers compensation removes a substantial amount of tort law claims from the traditional legal system because although it is a liability and compensation claim it is a federally insured program paid into kind of like employee health insurance or unemployment insurance, and thus must be handled quite differently. Unfortunately it is these such differences that sometimes prevent injured employees from receiving the compensation that they deserve.There is a reason why you can find support for and against workers compensation and that is because workers compensation is a good system, it is not sent up to hurt employees who are injured on the job, it’s in place to ensure the protection of employers and employees.

It safeguards employers from the whimsy of employees overcome by the litigiousness of our society while also safeguarding the employee against repercussion or reprimand in the workplace after having returned from a leave of absence that involves a workers compensation claim.The supporters of workers compensation obviously support it because they believe that it improves working conditions for employees and employers and they’re absolutely correct.  Workers compensation laws safeguard litigiousness but it also creates provision in the system for the deciphering of legal negligence and liability.  Where any system has public support and has been proven to contain a number of great aspects, there are also flaws and what must be understood is that those flaws cannot be allowed to dictate the system itself.  You have to reform the legislation until you work out the kinks.Workers compensation has some achievements and some shortcomings.  It was enacted to reduce the need for litigation and to relieve employees who were injured on the job from being put in a position to have to prove that their injury was their employers fault.  Workers compensation is no fault employee injury insurance.

  You cannot collect on a workers compensation claim if you are in some way intoxicated on the job and expect to return to that job with fault or issue, but you are entitled to workers compensation when you are injured in the line of duty.  All employee injured on the job have a right to full  medical attention and financial compensation for he time that they are forced to take off of work because they are in no physical condition to perform their duties. Workers compensation is in place to ensure that businesses run smoothly without employers being neglected and without employers paying out unnecessary settlements or damages.  It is insurance for both parties that is still a bit flawed in its presentation.

Author: Norman Armstrong


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