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In Defense of Workers Compensation – System Still Works


The System Still Works-Defense of Workers Compensation

The Workers Compensation System still works in defense. After reading articles deriding the Workers Compensation system, I thought something in defense of Workers Compensation would be appropriate. I have often been a critic of certain Workers Comp systems, rules, court decisions, etc.

Graphic of Workers' Compensation System Still Works Law Govel
(c) mass.gov

One article that piqued my interest was The Demolition of Workers Compensation. I could not have disagreed with the article more.

The Insurance Information Institute’s Bob Hartwig (now at the University of South Carolina) sent a letter to the authors of the ProPublica article. ProPublica responded and the war of words began anew.

I wrote three articles to which I still receive hate emails even today.

Those articles were:

These articles, and others, were meant to shake up the Workers Compensation industry worker’s mindset so that as the system changes, one can adapt and be successful.

Workers Comp is not going to stay the same year after year. Check out this WCRI article on case shifting due to the Affordable Care Act.

Defense Lawyer System Still Works With Client In Court

The ProPublica article was written by people that do not understand Workers Comp as a whole.  It seems the article decided to look at the trees and not the forest. Using a few unfortunate situations and making blanket statements from them is erroneous at best.

One has to remember that the underpinning of Workers Compensation systems is the no-fault aspect of the agreement between employer and injured employee. The employee cannot sue the employer for negligence just as the employer cannot deny benefits due to the employee’s possible contributory negligence.

There will always be failings in any system including Workers Compensation. However, did any of the critics actually come up with a better system?   As the saying goes, it is easier to be a critic of a movie than make the movie.

Mark Walls also responded from a claims viewpoint. It is always good to hear from someone that has actually handled claims from the trenches.

Dave DePaolo did remind us that sometimes the WC industry has to look in the mirror and reassess itself.

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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