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Workers' compensation systems exist for two separate reasons. The first reason is to provide lost wage replacement, medical care, and permanent disability compensation to workers who have been injured on the job or become ill as a result of their work environment. The second justification for workers' compensation systems is that they allow employers to address the needs of injured and sick workers in a no-fault environment. By shielding employers from costly and drawn-out litigation in most injury and illness scenarios, workers' compensation benefits the employer as much as the worker who needs to file a claim.
Despite this fact, the workers' compensation system is not always a fair and balanced two-way street. For many workers who have been injured at their job, or become sick as a result of exposure to chemicals, contaminants, or a work environment that is unsafe in general, the workers' compensation system is an adversarial one that pits the understandable concerns of injured workers against the financial-business interests of their employers and insurance companies. For this reason, among many others, a worker who needs to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits should strongly consider a consultation with an attorney who specializes in handling workers' compensation claims.
Learn more about the basics of workers' compensation.