The idea of compensation for injuries goes back as far as 2050 B.C. in ancient Sumeria.1 Recorded on a clay tablet, the law of Ur instituted distinct payouts for specific injuries, such as a severed foot or nose. Through several millennia, injuries that occurred while performing work for another moved from the worker assuming most of the risk to primarily an employer liability.
Today in the United States, workers’ compensation is a standard type of business insurance and is a requirement for most employers. Each state regulates its own workers’ compensation program, and the federal government manages its own program for federal workers.