What is Workers Compensation?

The idea of Workers compensation laws predates the United States as a country and can be traced back to Prussia.  In the Prussian system, it provided a social insurance to protect certain workers. The Prussian workers compensation system, brought the concepts of “no-fault”, “exclusive remedy” and no pain and suffering which have been adopted in the United States.

No-fault System

Often viewed as unfair to the injured worker, the legislative compromise is that injured workers do not have to prove negligence as they would in a personal injury claim.  Workers’ compensation is what is called a “no-fault” system. In theory it means that the worker need not prove that the employer did something or failed to do something that caused the worker injury, only that the worker was working and became injured. 

Exclusive Remedy

The exclusive remedy is the requirement that if a worker is injured on the job, he/she must go through the workers’ compensation system and cannot sue their employers in the civil courts like a personal injury claim.  There are certain exceptions to this rule.

Pain & Suffering

There is a lot of frustration when injured workers find out about the exclusive remedy.  Most injured workers complain that their employers violated safety regulations and forced the worker to put themselves in dangerous work environment.  As a result, the injured worker is upset to find out that the employer will not have to pay for the pain and suffering they feel by being injured. 

Most injuries that are not minor in nature are painful and the worker and their families suffer a great deal of financial and emotional stress related to the injury.  Depending upon the nature of the injury the injured work may have committed a lot of time and effort in becoming proficient in a particular skill. Regardless, the workers’ compensation statutes do not require or provide for payment of pain and suffering.  As such, no matter how painful or how much suffering an injured worker suffers under the workers’ compensation system they will not be able to collect. 

Understanding and realizing what workers’ compensation is and the limitations it has is important when a worker gets injured, so they can focus on what the workers’ compensation system does provide which is medical care for their injuries and 2/3rds of their average weekly wage if they are taken out of work completely.

The information in this article is based upon Georgia law, your state may be different if you have specific questions about a work injury contact a local workers’ compensation attorney immediately. 

Ty Wilson Law is a Savannah, Georgia law firm, serving clients who have been injured in an automobile accident or in the workplace.

Ty Wilson Law
1 E. Bay St. #305
Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 233-1100


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