The Evolution of Workers Comp Coverage

Employees who were injured or became ill on the job can turn to Miami workers compensation coverage provided by their employers, which pays for medical care and cash benefits while they cannot work. These employees have nearly a century of history to thank for the protection afforded by the laws governing this coverage, considered the nation’s first type of social insurance. The first laws regarding were enacted in 1908 to offer protection for civilian employees of the federal government who performed dangerous work, and the program was expanded to cover all federal employees in 1916. States soon followed suit in requiring protection for employees, and by 1921 all but six states in the union and the District of Columbia had adopted such laws. Today, all states, the District of Columbia, and U.S-owned territories offer programs to cover employees hurt on the job via employers which are required to offer this coverage to their employees. In 2004, employers spent nearly $90 billion annually in costs for these programs. In terms of the financial support the program offers to disabled employees, workers comp is second in size only to the Social Security Disability Insurance program.

A major improvement for workers everywhere

The days before employee protection laws were grim. If an employee was hurt on the job, he or she would have to bring a tort lawsuit against the employer and prove that the injury was caused by the employer’s negligence. Many employees did not have the means to pay the high fees related to bringing a case to court, and under the tort system, workers often were unable to collect damages, or they had to suffer through interminable delays. The courts ruled in favor of the employers more often than not, further discouraging people from suing their employers; However, the occasional loss of a suit was a constant risk, as it could result in major damages.

Nowadays, employees and employers are afforded protection by laws that establish rules for compensation without delay for on-the-job injuries, regardless of who was at fault, and liability limits that provide protection for employers in that workers accept compensation under the program as payment in full, thus waiving their right to sue the employer for damages. Miami workers compensation insurance programs are available that illustrate just how much things have changed since 1906, when going to work at, for example, a cotton mill could cost you a limb or even your life. To learn more about these programs, contact a professional insurance agent today.

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