Workers' Compensation

When a worker has an injury, all US states have a structure of laws designed to provide multiple benefits to that injured worker. These laws are referred to as workers’ compensation and the laws define the benefits, identify all of the parties, and dictate the manner and method for dispensing such benefits. Since every employee, by definition, must work for some employer, when there is a dispute over the benefits or the injury itself, these two primary entities find themselves in conflict within the system. These controversies are thereafter resolved through either negotiation or trial, and the practice of representing the employer side is referred to as workers’ compensation employer defense.

The Workmen's Compensation Act 1897 was British law in operation from 1897 to 1946. Great Britain followed the German model. Joseph Chamberlain, leader of the Liberal Unionist party and in coalition with the Conservatives, designed a plan that was enacted under the Salisbury government in 1897. The Act was a key domestic achievement. It served its social purpose at no cost to the government, since compensation was paid for by insurance which employers were required to take out to pay for medical costs of injuries on the job. It replaced the Employers' Liability Act 1880, which gave the injured worker the right to sue the employer but put the burden of proof on the employee. After 1897, injured employees had only to show that they had been injured on the job. These are roughly the same rights German workers were awarded in their 1884 law. The Act was replaced by an expanded scheme under the Workmen's Compensation Act 1906.

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