Generally, no you are not permitted to sue your employer for personal injury after you have been accepted for workers’ compensation. However, the laws that surround workers’ compensation are very complex and very difficult to understand. Only a qualified attorney with experience in dealing with workers’ comp cases can help you make a determination as to what legal options you may have as an injured worker.
How is Workers’ Compensation Designed to Work ?
Workers’ compensation laws were designed to protect the rights of both employees and employers. Before workers’ compensation became mandatory employees had the option to sue their employers for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering due to injuries sustained while on the job. However, it would often take a substantial amount of time, often years, to get a case settled or even to the point where it was tried in court. During this time, the injured employee still could not work and therefore did not have any income and was responsible for paying the expensive medical bills associated with their injury.
Mandatory workers’ compensation is now available to employees in exchange for their ability to sue their employer for negligence. Known as the “compensation bargain” this arrangement gives the employee a guarantee that a percentage of their lost wages will be paid along with any medical bills that have incurred due to their work related injury.
Can I Sue For a Personal Injury if I Was Hurt at Work as the Result of a Coworker’s Negligence? ?
Under Maryland state laws if you have been injured by a coworker on the job it is possible to file an injury claim against them. In order to do so, the injured worker would also have to initiate legal proceedings against the coworker for injury. In essence, there would be two individual cases involving the same facts for both claims. Even though suing a coworker for negligence and injury is possible it may be difficult to recover money even if you win.
Can I Sue My Employer Instead of Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim ?
Under Maryland state laws workers’ compensation is the only legal avenue for taking legal action against your employer for work sustained injuries. Workers’ compensation was developed to counteract the need for the lengthy process involved in an injury lawsuit. In contrast, workers’ compensation is an assurance to employees that they will receive the medical care and time off they require without the need of going to court.
Receiving workers’ compensation and suing your employer simultaneously can be very difficult, especially with the laws put into place regarding workplace injuries. Not all attorneys are qualified and experienced enough to help you with this issue. If you feel that you have a potential case, call our legal team at (301) 589-2999 and let us assist you in understanding how you should proceed.