nIn the early twentieth century state and federal legislative bodies enacted laws that provide a uniform schedule of compensation to employees injured in the course of their employment.
nThis reform was necessary because the common law had made it very difficult for an injured worker to obtain compensation through ordinary legal processes because the courts allowed an employer to assert defenses:
nAssumption of risk: Employee assumed the risk of injury incident to the job.
nContributory negligence: Employee’s conduct contributed to the injury.
nFellow-servant rule: Another employee caused or contributed to the injury.