Workers’ compensation laws are based on the theory that “the cost of the product should bear the blood of the workman.” In other words, as a cost of doing business, an employer is required to pay for injuries its employees suffer on the job. The employer offsets this increased cost of doing business by raising its prices to the general public. Spread our over hundreds of thousands or millions of customers, the increase is generally rather small.
Before there were workers’ compensation acts, employees had a tough time collecting any money for the injuries or for the wages they lost when they were injured on the job and were off work temporarily or permanently. It was true that they could sue their employers, but winning was another story. First, the worker had to prove that the employer or one of his or her employees caused the accident, which was not easy to do. And even if the worker succeeded at this, the employer still won many cases by claiming that the employee assumed the risk of injury or has partially caused his or her own injuries. The “fellow servant” rule usually barred the employee from suing coworkers who had injured him or her unless the fellow employee acted intentionally.
If you or a loved one has been injured at work it is important to protect your legal rights. Call (916) 922-9902 to speak with a Sacramento work injury lawyer, Tom Johnson.