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Workmen’s Compensation Hearing Representative

The concept of workmen’s compensation rests firmly on the now well-established principle that an injured workman is entitled to benefits without recourse to such postulates as the “fellow-servant rule,” the “assumption or risk” or “contributory negligence.” All of these had been used by employers at one time as the basis of common law defense in tort actions.

Workmen’s compensation liability is rooted now in the existence of an employer-employee relationship; and the occurrence of an accident or sickness arising out of and in the course of employment. There is no mitigation by virtue of any act or omission by an employee or by a co-employee. Workmen’s compensation liability is not the child of the common law of employer’s liability compensation. It stems from a social premise but, by-and-large, it is not public social insurance. It might rather be described as private social insurance in that it concerns employers, employees, insurance companies, and state agencies in well-defined interrelationships. It is financed by premiums paid by the employer which fact places in perspective of employer liability.

The procedures that have been invoked to administer the law vary from state to state. There is court supervision in some states and boards or commissions in other states. In some states there is the system of direct settlement agreement between the injured worker and the insurance carrier. In other states, such as New York, the agreement procedure is not used and the authority to determine claims is assigned to a Workmen’s Compensation Board.

The intent of the legislation in all states was to eliminate legal terminology and court-room technicalities. The aim was to enable employees themselves to make a claim and handle it without incurring the cost of using attorneys. The administration of the law was to be quasi-judicial.

Like so many other idealistic projections this has not materialized. The reverse has become the order of the day and there has been a proliferation of adversary proceedings. There are reasons for this increase in litigation not the least of which is the tremendous expansion of the economy and its concomitant increase in the number of employed persons and covered employments. Each legislative year has enlarged the scope of average adding new disease as well to the complex and complicated base of the workmen’s compensation laws. New industries, new exposures, new relationships have taxed the ability of existing language to define the boundaries of coverage. The areas of dispute have spread to all of the states and there has been a tendency by the courts and the administrative agencies to interpret coverage more liberally than had originally been anticipated.

Before any compensation case or hearing for any personal injury case takes place, it would be best to opt for legal consultation. The experienced injury lawyer will help you acquire just compensation for your injuries.

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