If someone is injured while on the job, and the injury has impaired them from working or doing any of their usual activities or resulted in loss of wages, they are entitled to worker’s compensation. If they are denied, and they have a legitimate case, an attorney can usually help them collect their benefits.

Now, you may have already known all of that, but here’s something I’ll bet you didn’t know: Wisconsin is the state that founded the first constitutional workers’ compensation law — and this year marks the 100th year that the workers’ compensation law has been in effect!

Although, you don’t hear much about it on the news, in 1913, Wisconsin’s Progressive movement was responsible for this idea, with the approval of Teddy Roosevelt, the Progressive in Chief. You don’t hear much about it because it works. The system runs smoothly and works as it should.

The workers’ compensation law came about when the unions and employers were battling over issues such as safer working conditions and higher wages. In order to stop the constant lawsuits against management, workers’ compensation insurance became law. It made sense for employers to pay insurance for each employee in case they were injured on the job. This also provided some incentive to employers to maintain a safe working environment for their employees.

This law not only provided the kind of stability and protection for employees that was needed, but it spawned other policies and changes that were also relevant, such as factory inspection laws, new Wisconsin insurance companies to cover the benefits and a decrease in workplace accidents.

Roughly 250,000 medical bills are paid each year in Wisconsin through these benefits, and monetary checks are sent to over 30,000 workers with workplace injuries. Wisconsin employers purchase over 145,000 insurance policies for their employees; taxpayers do not have to foot one penny of the bill — or the funding to run the agency administering the system.

Wisconsin is very proud of being the author of this system, just as Milwaukee attorneys are proud to be a part of ensuring the fairness and equality of the system.

jsonline.com, “Marking worker’s comp” Gregory Krohm, Aug. 22, 2013