Each state determines its own workers’ compensation benefits, which means workers in neighboring states can end up with dramatically different compensation for identical injuries.
by Michael Grabell, ProPublica, and Howard Berkes, NPR
March 5, 2015
AT THE TIME OF THEIR ACCIDENTS, Jeremy Lewis was 27, Josh Potter 25.
The men lived within 75 miles of each other. Both were married with two children about the same age. Both even had tattoos of their children’s names.
Their injuries, suffered on the job at Southern industrial plants, were remarkably similar, too. Each man lost a portion of his left arm in a machinery accident.
After that, though, their paths couldn’t have diverged more sharply: Lewis received just $45,000 in workers’ compensation for the loss of his arm. Potter was awarded benefits that could surpass $740,000 over his lifetime.