Attorney John Mlnarik

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Filing a Claim Is Not Suing Your Employer

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b2ap3_thumbnail_images-2_20160802-183449_1.jpgThere is a common misconception that if an individual is injured on the job and pursues a Workers’ Compensation claim, they are effectively filing a lawsuit against their employer for reimbursement of medical costs and lost wages.

Workers’ Compensation benefits are not the same things as suing an employer.

Work injury benefits arise from an employer paying into Workers’ Compensation insurance.

If an individual is injured on the job, the insurance company reimburses the individual. Compensation varies based on the type of injury sustained. However, pursuing compensation for workplace injuries prior to the advent of Workers’ Compensation laws in America involved lawsuits and was much more difficult.

History of Workers’ Compensation Laws in America
Before 1911, the only recourse for individuals injured on the job was to sue their employer. In these cases it was very unlikely that the injured worker would be awarded any compensation. People worked in severe conditions and injuries were plentiful. Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle brought the hazardous conditions of factory work to the public’s eye in 1906 and assisted in the creation of laws that would provide protection to workers in case of injury.

The first state to pass important legislation involving Workers’ Compensation was Wisconsin in 1911. The final state to pass a law providing benefits and lost wages for injured workers was Mississippi in 1948. Today a majority of states, including Pennsylvania, make it obligatory for employers to pay into Workers’ Compensation insurance for the protection of their employees.

Benefits of Workers’ Compensation Legislation
Possession of Workers’ Compensation insurance is beneficial for employees and employers alike as the hassles and uncertainty of dealing with lawsuits are able to be avoided by both parties.

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