As our lives continue to change and evolve in this wonderful world, sometimes we find it difficult to even say the word compromise and even more difficult to believe compromise is necessary. Ever wonder why it's not a loved word or concept? Maybe it's because humans like to be right...all the time. We don't like to share either. Think about it. We as people like to think we know what's right and what's best...especially when it comes to our own wishes, needs and desires. Well people, get used to disappointment if you're not already.
In the world today, we must find ways to work together (compromise). That's how things that matter actually get accomplished. That's one of workers compensations greatest founding principles also known as, the Great Compromise. At least that's what it's supposed to be. Back during the industrial revolution days, things were growing and progressing in incredible ways and in record amounts of time. Accompanying that type of work effort was work place injuries. However, a lot of those workers were neglected, taken advantage of, and lost after they became injured. So guess what came next...BIG LAW SUITS! Workers were fed up and attorneys flooded in, rightfully so I might add. No longer would the injured workers agree to be swept under the rug in the names of progress and growth after they became injured. Attorneys started to stand and fight on behalf of these people and they also began to win. In some cases, win big. So as time went by, case after case was one by the attorneys and as a result, the pendulum began to swing the other way. As it swung, it passed the centerline and started to weigh heavily in favor of injured employees. It swung so far as a matter of fact that business owners couldn't afford to pay these law suits and began to close their doors which cost employees their jobs and hindered progress and growth. There had to be a better way, right?
Enter Workers Compensation, the better way. The Great Compromise was brought about federally to protect both sides and is governed locally at each state. The great compromise terminology comes from the idea that the workers give up their rights to bring lawsuits against their employers and employers agree to make employees whole as quickly and fairly as possible regardless of fault. Sounds great, right? Well, the one small problem in the system is PEOPLE. People have different expectations of what compromise really is and really means. So, as we continue to progress and grow, people will continue to get injured. The Great Compromise will continue as well. The question remaining will be whether or not we can find ways to successfully use a very benevolent system that is designed to help and protect both sides. Will we compromise successfully?