“The Demolition of Workers’ Comp” casts critical light on workers’ compensation systems nationwide

March 10, 2014

ProPublica, a non-profit news corporation that produces investigative journalism in the public interest, and NPR, a non-profit membership media organization, released a joint report on the current state of the American workers’ compensation system.

“The Demolition of Workers’ Comp,” written by Michael Grabell of ProPublica and Howard Berkes of NPR, found that states have increasingly dismantled their respective workers’ compensation systems over the past ten years.

The ProPublica/NPR report is the result of extensive independent investigation, including analysis of both insurance industry data and related laws as well as confidential medical and court records.

The investigation revealed that while employers are paying the lowest rates for workers’ compensation in decades and insurance companies earned an 18 percent return in 2013, the state-based workers’ compensation system is failing injured workers who need it the most.

Since 2003, thirty-three states have reduced or impeded workers’ compensation benefits by law, leaving injured workers with no alternative but to seek public aid, such as food stamps, in order to make ends meet. In 2007 alone, workers’ comp is estimated to have covered less than a third of injured workers’ medical costs and lost earnings; forcing government programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to pay out about $30 billion dollars.

For injured workers and their families, navigating the increasingly complex and restrictive road to obtaining workers’ compensation can be daunting. The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at ReidGoodwin are prepared to fight for Virginians who have been injured on the job to ensure maximum compensation under the law. If you or a loved one have suffered a workplace injury, call us today to schedule your free legal consultation.