Before workers’ compensation laws were in effect in the United States, injured workers were required to sue their employer for damages and prove the employer was negligent in order to receive any compensation for in injury on the job. It was a costly and slow process and many injured workers did not have the money to litigate against an employer who often had deep pockets. Further, there was little incentive to employers to ensure a safe workplace. Many workers’ during the Industrial Revolution were harmed in unsafe work environments. In 1911, the first workers’ compensation laws were enacted in the United States. The system that evolved is a compromise and no fault system. The law provides for benefits regardless of who is at fault, but also limits the amount of compensation that a worker can receive. So a worker injured on the job no longer has to prove fault, but is limited to the benefits under the statute which typically only includes medical treatment, a portion of lost wages and payment for disability. You cannot receive compensation for pain and suffering. Workers’ compensation benefits are set by statute and there are limits to the benefits provided.
For articles on the evolution of the workers’ compensation laws, See links here:
If you have been injured on the job, you should contact an experienced attorney to help.