Some notes, didn’t want to forget this so I typed it up, it follows on from the stuff on employment discrimination. Need to get to bed now.

In sum: Injuries increased workers’ need for money while lowering their ability to get money in the form of wages. Workers used legal means as one way to deal with this situation – specifically, to get money. The legal environment changed, which changed workers’ abilities to get money, but this basic dynamic still played out across the legal context regardless of changes in that context. Recourse to law was at best a coping mechanism.

1. Workers sold their time and their bodies and their abilities to employers temporarily. Injuries took parts of their bodies permanently.
2. Injuries may have taken some of their abilities permanently, and took their status as able-bodied.
3. Injuries rendered workers temporarily unable to work, because of the need to convalesce. Lack of work cut off one source of money, namely wages.
4. Injuries also increased workers’ need for money, because of the need to purchase medical care and perhaps orthopedic equipment.
5. Injuries often made workers less able to work and less employable, perhaps unemployable, due to a limited degree to their bodies and abilities and to a large degree to employers’ hiring practices.

Look into each, especially 2-4, look at 5 in relation to workmen’s comp and second injury funds. Map onto legal change, state administrative and policy/legislative change. Part of what I’ve been saying, said in the post on employment discrimination stuff, is that attempts to alleviate some of 3 and 4 increased the labor market dynamic within 5 (with effects as well on workers who were disabled for reasons other than workplace injury).

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