PA Workers Compensation Insurance: A History Lesson


Workers Compensation Insurance PA
Workers Compensation Insurance PA

It’s a plain and simple fact that any company that has employees also needs workers’ comp insurance. Almost every business in the United States that has employees has to deal with the issues, problems, and concerns of workers’ who are involved in serious accidents or are otherwise hurt while on the job. Most states (with few exceptions) essentially require employers to purchase a policy to handle their statutory obligations to workers who are injured or made ill due to a workplace exposure, and workers compensation insurance (WC) in PA is no exception.


Cost is a primary concern for those required to carry WC


Whether a business is small or large, handling the expense and effort of meeting these statutory obligations is an ever-present challenge, though a lack of coverage would have far more dire consequences that no business owner wants to have to confront. Certainly one of the main issues facing employers is the cost of coverage, a universal concern of business owners and managers nearly everywhere.


Whether working with a small automotive shop that employs 30 people or a large corporation that employs thousands of employees, the details surrounding coverage and the available options may vary, but the concern remains the same: how can the rising costs of workers’ compensation be controlled effectively?


The roots of WC laws in the US


Requirements for WC insurance began in the United States back in the 20th century, as early as 1911. Before that time, workers who had been injured or made ill on the job were forced to take legal action against their employers, resulting in a system that unfortunately made it difficult for workers to obtain compensation for such injuries, and yet exposed employers to potentially devastating financial penalties under the tort system.


The states that understood the need for providing medical aid for the injured worker enacted a “no fault” system intended to make sure workers received fair and prompt medical treatment and financial compensation for workplace injuries and illness. This compromise system also established limits on the obligations of employers for these workplace exposures, so that the costs could be made more predictable and affordable.


Current PA workers’ compensation insurance laws help to provide fairly comprehensive and specific benefits to those who suffer workplace injury or illness. With a slew of benefits that include medical expenses, death benefits, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation, employees receive fair treatment and can often return to work once healed and continue to live productive lives.


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