Workmen's compensation is a mechanism designed to provide cash benefits to employees to recompense for loss of wages due to injuries sustained in work-connected activities. Theoretically, the cost of the program is charged to the consumer by increasing the price of goods and services sold to the public. An employee, covered by a compensation act, is entitled to payments if he is injured by an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment; and the fact that such employee was at fault or guilty of negligence himself is normally of no consequence.
Compensation benefits, in contrast to damages received in common-law tort actions, reimburse only for injuries resulting in disability of a type which reduces or otherwise affects earning capacity. Thus compensation acts do not make payments for pain and suffering, loss of consortium and other losses of a like nature. A worker who is in all respects eligible for compensation receives a sum amounting to approximately one half to two thirds of his average wage, depending on the particular jurisdiction making the award.
Ben F. Loeb, Jr.,
Remaining Tort Liability of Employers and Third Parties Under Workmen's Compensation Statutes,
13 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vlr/vol13/iss2/5