Insurance policies can be complex and are often present many hurdles to make a successful claim. Workers’ Compensation programs are, in essence, insurance programs designed to provide benefits for workers who have been injured on the job.
Nebraska, like most states, has a workers’ compensation system. In spite of the fact that employers receive the immense benefit of being immune to personal injury lawsuits arising out of an accident involving their employees, dislike that they have to pay the premium.
In many states, there are campaigns organized in the legislature to weaken workers’ compensation laws to the point where many employees are left with virtually no coverage, or it is so minimal that it only covers a few types of accidents.
Earlier this year, Oklahoma’s legislature so crippled the state’s workers’ compensation system that the state workers’ compensation commission declared it unconstitutional. Last month, Florida’s Supreme Court declared a change in the law that tied compensation for attorneys representing injured workers to a minimal percentage of the total award.
In one case, this resulted in an attorney being paid $164.54 for 107 hours of work. No can afford to work for $1.65 per hour in the U.S., and the court found that the caps on attorney compensation imposed by the legislature effectively denied coverage to many injured workers with valid claims.
Groups that work to limit worker rights know that if they eliminate the attorney representation, they know workers may not make claims on their workers’ compensation program or if they do, they can be denied, and will lack the ability to appeal those denials.
While many businesses’ complain that workers’ compensation costs will rise, what they ignore is that those injured workers do not “magically” become better. They wind up on Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security Disability, and the taxpayer gets stuck paying the bill.
Source: omaha.com, “Law limiting lawyer fees in workers’ comp cases tossed out,” Associated Press, May 2, 2016