An individual who is injured while working may be concerned with the requirements for filing a claim and receiving benefits. Minnesota statutes set forth the requirements of workers’ compensation in cases of death or personal injury occurring in the course of employment, and the burden of proof in showing that an incident was work related is assigned to the employee. However, a dispute may arise if an employer believes that an employee’s injury is self-inflicted or that it has resulted because of an employee’s intoxication.

In a case in which an employer disputes an injury’s validity or an employee’s eligibility, it is important to note that the burden of proof rests with the employer. However, it is also important to understand that a work injury case in Minnesota is addressed by a mutual renunciation by both employees and employers of common law defenses, so that employees are not able to sue for damages that exceed normal wage loss and health care benefits in most cases. Additionally, employers are unable to use their own lack of negligence or the contributory negligence of the employee as a basis for not providing benefits.

State law regarding coverage for workplace injuries carries the intent that neither employer nor employee is favored in any given case. The legislature’s goal has been to be sure that costs to employers are reasonable and that care for an employee is provided quickly and efficiently. Related cases are to be decided on their merits.

An individual injured by the intentional or reckless act of an employer may wonder whether workers’ compensation benefits will be sufficient to adequately address the financial and physical impact of an accident. In such a case, it may be advantageous to seek advice from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to gain insight into possible remedies available.

Source: Revisor of Statutes, “176.021 APPLICATION TO EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES.“, September 29, 2014