Halloween Edition: Workers' Comp and Pirates?

When you see pirates running around your neighborhood tonight, plundering your stashes of candy, you may be surprised to know that one of the earliest forms of workers’ compensation can be dated back to 17th century pirates. These swashbucklers were not the disorderly band of men that movies portray, but an organized group with various checks and balances in place to maintain structure. 1


Their system of chasse-partie included how the treasure should be divided amongst the pirates and how much should be awarded to crew members that were injured during the journey. The Buccaneers of America, a novel first published in 1678, gives the eyewitness accounts of Alexander O. Exquemelin’s experience as a Caribbean buccaneer and details the pirates’ system of workers’ compensation. The award amounts varied depending on the body part that was injured, similar to today’s system. 2

 A pirate's guide to workers' comp


Obviously, since the 17th century much has evolved in terms of the workplace itself, workplace safety and workers’ compensation laws. However, workplace accidents do happen. That’s why it’s important to work with knowledgeable attorneys if you have been injured at work so they will ensure you receive the benefits you deserve. Let one of our lawyers help you file your claim today.


1 Beals MD, Rodney K, Compensation and Recovery From Injury, The Western Journal of Medicine, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1021604/pdf/westjmed00186-0073.pdf 
2 Exquemelin, Alexander O., The Buccaneers of America

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