For well over a century, state and federal workers’ compensation laws, have provided employees and employers with a mutually beneficial means of resolving disputes following injury or death caused due to workplace-related accidents. It ensures that medical expenses and lost wages for workplace injuries are covered, and provides compensation for permanent injuries, while allowing employers to avoid admitting fault, eliminating the need for the claimant to prove fault, and limiting the recovery of awards for pain and suffering and punitive damages. In short, each side gives up some rights, but gains others. While reformative measures have led to both limitations and expansions on workers’ comp laws, a new plan seeks to completely reinvent the system by allowing employers to ‘opt-out,’ the result of which would essentially permit employers to create their own contractually-based rules and regulations for handling claims.
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