Employer incentives and the discontents of workers’ comp

Despite discontents with the workers’ compensation system, statistics show the American workplace growing steadily safer, and it is anything but clear that the incentives for safe practice of the various players would be improved by a system which forced more accident cases into litigation [Gordon Yago, York Daily Record, quotes me at several places]

One Comment

  • Nice quotes..I would take minor issue though that going after third party liability is a way to “get around” the system…third party liability is a party of the system that (in appropriate cases) allows the plaintiff or his estate to pursue higher damages against responsible parties. Additionally, the comp carrier or self insured employer has a lien against the third party recovery that often lets them recoup a significant amount of what they expended.
    Although comp prevents the employee from suing the employer in tort for negligence, many states have heightened culpability burdens which may allow direct employee suits, although in Florida the “virtual certainty” standard is a very high bar.
    Having practiced in this area for 17 years, it is not perfect. Death claims get a lot of publicity , but are thankfully a fairly rare occurrence. Many claimants with no cognizable negligence claims likely do better than they would in a tort style context. Assuming the injury is compensable, claimants receive medical care without having to wait on lengthy proceedings.