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Page:Economic Development in Denmark Before and During the World War.djvu/56

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN DENMARK

which at the same time added an extraordinary extension—that such insurance should affect not only industry, but also trade and commerce, public employees, shop clerks, etc., as well as domestic servants permanently or temporarily employed in private households; also persons engaged in forestry, agriculture, and horticulture, as well as in shipping and fishery. The duty to insure oneself is laid down as a principle, but the individual is left free to choose the company in which the insurance is effected. The law of July 6, 1916, has thus permanently drawn a very large part of the population under its influence, and it admits, moreover, a voluntary arrangement for certain independent groups.

If we examine the decisions made with regard to the duty of insurance or the reference of accidents under the law, we find that a great liberality underlies its extensive regulations, even in cases which, hastily considered, would seem to lie outside the scope of insurance. Under the law, for instance, comes such casual assistance as might be rendered in getting a wagon out of the mud or in helping a neighbour to catch a stray calf. If a nursemaid is injured when playing with her master's child; or if a seamstress working at home for a master tailor runs a needle into her eye in leaning over to tend her little daughter who sits beside her trying to sew; or if a six-year-old child helping on her father's farm is injured when leading a cow home from the field—all such cases likewise come under the law. So, too, a bathing accident from a ship, or from a boat belonging to the ship, is considered within the law. A death which formerly would have been considered an indisputable suicide may now be attributed to insanity. An explosion due to lack of caution is not now called a 'case of gross negligence'. Moreover, the same regard is shown for those, who, besides the person injured, may suffer from an accident; for example, if a servant girl has been helping her parents in the payment of taxes and the like, an injury to her gives them a just claim for compensation. If an