Chancellor Otto von Bismarck of Prussia created the first modern system
of workers’ compensation in 1884. From there it gradually spread
throughout the western world with various adaptations to suit each country
or society’s specific goals and agendas. This system served as the
basic model for social insurance programs including those that regulate
workers compensation in the United States today.
Overview of Workers’ Compensation
The insurance requirements for workers’ compensation vary greatly
for employers from state to state. There are some states that always require
it for all companies, regardless of size or number of employees; while
other states do not require it at all, even for big companies. And there
are some states that require workers compensation insurance only for businesses
that have a certain number of regular employees. Georgia, for instance,
requires all businesses that employ three or more persons regularly to
provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This holds true
whether the employees are part-time or full-time hires.
For the uninitiated, understanding and applying the laws that govern workers
comp in America can be likened to the experience of going through an endless
maze or intricate labyrinth of rules and regulations, exemptions and inclusions,
paperwork, deadlines and the unexpected. This complexity has given rise
to numerous legal practices throughout the country that specialize in
interpreting workers’ compensation laws and helping clients navigate
the system successfully.
Keep Your Information Accessible
If you work for a company that has workers’ compensation insurance,
it is important to always carry your insurance information with you. Coverage
varies greatly from state to state, of course, but some insurance companies
provide coverage for workers even when they are traveling. You may be
eligible to apply for workers’ comp if you have an accident while
on a business trip, or while driving a company vehicle, or even on your
daily commute to work. Having your information on you can make a difference
in getting you the medical help and service you may require as a result
of the accident.