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A Brief History of Workers Compensation in California

There is no getting away from it, workers compensation seems to have been with us since the dawn of civilization. Okay so maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but it is hard to imagine a time prior to the act. A team of Los Angeles workers compensation attorneys explain that in reality it all started with the onset of the industrial revolution.

Prior to the turn of the twentieth century, any compensation sought by employees was done through a civil tort system. This meant that every claim had to go through a process of a civil court. They were often notoriously biased towards the employer and the process was very lengthy and incredibly slow. Quite often the injured worker would end up not receiving a penny which meant that they suffered financially as they were unable to work. Even those that were successful still suffered because of the length of time it took to resolve a case.

At the start of the twentieth century in America, industrial might move from cottage industry through to large scale business with giant companies such as JD Rockefeller's Standard oil Company, the Ford Motor Company and the Carnegie Steel Company all employing vast swathes of people. Work was a dangerous business and as a result industrial related accidents increased dramatically. It was clear that the old 'hit and miss' system of claiming compensation for accidents was no longer of any use and consequently something had to be done.

A team of LA workers comp attorneys explain that California's response was to pass the Boynton Act in 1913. This was a kind of precursor to what is now known as workers compensation. The system was referred to as 'compensation bargaining' and was where employers assumed all responsibility for any workplace injuries, or indeed death, irrespective of the fault. The employees received a quick benefit payment and in return employers were protected from unlimited liability claims. Also workers were not permitted to pursue any claims against them through the civil tort system. California was one of the first states to introduce such a system and it has remained ever since.

In the years since 1913, the laws regarding workers comp haven't changed much although many people now view it as an antiquated law which not only needs reform, but is open to abuse. The trouble is that nobody has come up with a better and indeed full proof system of awarding payments to people who are injured in the workplace through no fault of their own. The fact that this law is open to abuse from unscrupulous insurance carriers and employers and in some cases employees means that a team of experienced LA workers comp lawyers are kept extremely busy.

Insurance bad faith

One of the main problems that a representing attorney has to deal with is nowadays is insurance fraud. This is also known as ''insurance bad faith' and this is where an insurance carrier denies a legitimate claim for their own gain. One of the reasons that insurance fraud is on the rise is because like everywhere else business at the moment is tough. Insurance carriers like any other company are in business to make money. For firms of insurers the way that they achieve this is by raking in as many premiums as they can whilst paying out as few insurance pay outs as possible. This in itself is not illegal and is how any insurance firm works. However this is on the proviso that all claims are treated equally and treated fairly. When a claim is not treated fairly and a legitimate claim is either underpaid or worse still, not paid out at all, then this is classed as insurance fraud.

If you have submitted a legitimate claim and have had it denied by your insurance carrier, then a team of Los Angeles workers compensation attorneys who are well versed in dealing with such problems can help. If successful, they will have the ability to force the hand of the insurer to make the payments on the claim and also they might be able to file for civil punitive damages directly against the insurer for any stress and inconvenience caused.

The bottom line is that an LA workers comp attorney works tirelessly to defend your rights on a law that is there to protect you, and as a result, you can be safe in the knowledge that they can deliver you the full and fair compensation that you deserve every time.