The upsurge of industries in the United States during the early 1900s, best known as the industrial age, laid the foundation of what we now know as the workers’ compensation law. Prior to the establishment of these statues, workers injured on the job are always left to their fate.
When an injury happens at work, it can generate to loss of wages, exposure to expensive medical bills, and other untold hardships on the worker. All these can be devastating to the worker. That is why we now have laws in place to protect everyone injured at work. However, a good understanding of workers’ compensation laws and how they slightly vary with states can help you get the compensation that is due to you.
Why Is It Different With Every State?
Each state has its peculiar workers laws and its own workers compensation board. In most states, factors like industry, business size, and structure always influence these statues. However, in Texas, the workers’ compensation insurance is optional. The question then, is why did workers’ compensation have such a degree of variation? The answer is best found in States’ rights.
States’ rights weigh the bulk influence on workers’ compensation laws in the United States. This also provides for its continued variation. Then, how does states’ right achieve this? First, the states’ rights work to separate and protect the two layers of the government. As it relates to workers’ compensation, federal legislation mandate states to enact local workers laws relative to workers’ compensation laws. It’s therefore considerably at the disposal of the state to enact one or not.
While some states are more generous with the benefits due to an injured worker, other states are not so generous. This leads to the next important question, Jurisdiction factor.
Jurisdiction and Workers’ Compensation Claim
In the whole of the workers’ compensation discourse, jurisdiction is the most puzzling. As confusing as it may seem most times, it is what dictates which state law will apply to every workers’ compensation claim. Most times, more than one state’s law may be used. However, the general ways to determine the state that can exercise its jurisdiction include;
- State that the injury occurred within its borders. Any state that the injury happened within its borders can apply its workers’ compensation law.
- Forty-three states can apply jurisdiction if the contract of employment was signed and sealed within the state.
- In 40 states, if the injury took place in one state while the employee’s primary area of employment is another, the employee’s principal place of work can apply jurisdiction.
Jurisdiction is not only confusing but complicated as well. As more than one state’s law can be applied, the appellant can easily select the state with the best benefits and run with it. The appellant can also switch to the next state after obtaining benefits from the first state.
To get the best out of a workers’ compensation case, get a professional workers’ compensation attorney who knows the legal system inside out.
Failure to comply with the state’s workers’ compensation statues by any employer or business can lead to severe legal penalties like a potential civil suit by an employee, possible criminal action for violating the law, and hefty fines.
Every business needs workers’ compensation insurance once it hires its first worker.