Workers’ compensation is a system of insurance that compensates a worker (or their spouse and family) for lost wages and medical expenses if they are injured (or killed) while working at their place of employment. With the Industrial Revolution came a surge in manufacturing employment and workplace accidents. Before formal workers’ compensation systems came into being, workplace injuries were subject to tort law, and a worker’s only means of being compensated for a workplace injury was to sue an employer for negligence. These suits were costly and time-consuming for the employee, who usually did not have the financial resources to hire a lawyer, and even if they did proceed with a lawsuit the outcome was uncertain. From the employer’s perspective, while employee lawsuits were ...

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