The History of Worker’s Compensation

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Robert Golan

The first known instance of compensation of bodily injury took place in ancient Sumeria during the reign of Ur-Nammu, king of Ur. A law, which he had instituted, provided for financial compensation from an employer to an injured worker. The first time this law is said to have been enforced was in 2050 B.C. Ever since then, groups in nearly every country have introduced laws and regulations regarding compensation for bodily injury.

How Workers’ Compensation Evolved in Workplaces

Over the period of many years, the policies have developed. For a long time in the early days, there was no distinguishing regulation in these cases between the loss of function of a body part and having an inability to do a job because of a disability.

The Industrial Revolution meant a lot to Workers’ Compensation. After it began, there were many dangerous jobs being preformed on a regular basis. It soon became clear that the current legal practices regarding Workers’ Compensation were woefully inadequate. Claims piled in from accidents.

Many of them were valid, which in itself created mass confusion with the present legal practices. What made it so much worse was that the law was awarding compensation to individuals, even if they had inflicted the injury out of pure negligence, or even purposely.

Changes to Workers’ Compensation Laws

Changes in the laws made everything run much smoother. In addition, an injured worker had to prove that their employer, and not themselves or a fellow employee, was the cause of an injury or disablement. Some companies took this drive toward a revolution of Workers’ Compensation too far, having their employees sign a contract in which they relinquished any right to sue for damages at all. The system has been fine-tuned since that time with a number of checks and balances installed in each state.

Today, workers can receive help with claims. You can request a consultation with our Long Island Workers’ Compensation law firm for information on how we help you with filing and hearings for your claim.


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