At the turn of the 20th century, employees were beginning to receive protection from the state when they were hurt while on the job. The first systems that were put in place to protect employees were not very effective because they required employees to hire lawyers and file lawsuits against their employers. There were very few mechanisms in place that helped employees prove that their employer was negligent. And even if an employee had all of the information in place to prove negligence on the part of an employer, it was a very expensive and time-consuming process. When an employee at the start of the 20th century went to court to file for work related injuries, they not only had to pay the lawyer, but at the same time they were not receiving any financial compensation. Over time, the United State’s government passed workers compensation laws that provided more protection for employees. At its inception, workers compensation insurance was a brand-new idea that not everyone thoroughly understood.
Today, more than a century after the first business in the United States got workers compensation insurance, there are still some questions that both employees and employers have about the system. Some of these questions arise because of differences in the way that workers compensation is handled in different states. Additionally, not every single work-related injury is covered. Employees must prove very clearly that the accident took place in and out of the course of employment. This means that if a person is at their place of employment and they are engaged in horseplay that results in them being injured, they may not qualify for workers compensation. Also, if employers can prove that a pre-existing disease or condition led to the injury, the employee may not be entitled to workers compensation.
Workers compensation law distinguishes between accidents and occupational diseases. An example of an accident would be if the safety equipment of a construction worker broke, causing them to fall and injure themselves. An occupational disease on the other hand would be a sickness or infirmity that the employee receives as a result of the conditions they worked in. For example, if an employee worked removing asbestos from a building and they got asbestosis, this would be a disease that resulted because of the work they were doing. Because of the complicated laws connected with workers compensation, many Iowa residents choose to hire an Iowa workers compensation lawyer.