The Workers’ Compensation System

Under Maryland Workers’ Compensation law unless the employer intentionally hurts you, you have no right to sue the employer. The reason for this is that back in the early 1900’s prior to workers’ compensation law, an employee could sue his employer if the employer was negligent, however, those suits would typically take years and in the meantime the employee would receive no benefits.
Also, if the employer could prove that the employee was contributory negligent or assumed the risk, then the employee would not be able to sue the employer and the employee would receive no benefits. On the other hand, if the employee could prove the employer was negligent he could then sue the employer and in some cases obtain a large judgement. Obviously an employer is not likely going to keep an employee who is suing him.Government would often be left with the burden of taking care of the poor who were injured on the job. As a compromise between labor, the employers, employees and the government the workers’ compensation system was set up so that an employee could recover workers’ compensation benefits quickly even if the employee was contributory negligent or assumed the risk and even if the employee could not prove that the employer was negligent.
However, in exchange for these rights the employee had to give up the rights to sue the employer. The government passed a law agreeing that the employees would give up the rights of lawsuits against the employers in exchange for the workers’ compensation system and that is why today employees cannot sue their employers.
Based upon this compromise, the employee in theory is provided prompt medical care, paid quickly for lost time, and hopefully returns to work. Government no longer has to take care of the employees injured on the job as there is workers compensation insurance to cover the situation.
For more info on Workers Comp in Maryland, please CLICK HERE.
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