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Can an employee file for workers’ comp after being assaulted?

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

Employees face hazards at work, and some environments come with substantial risks. A warehouse worker may deal with everything from slip and falls to electrical hazards. Office workers sometimes deal with different injury issues, such as various sprains. Sadly, any workplace in Minnesota comes with the risk of being assaulted. Everyone from customers to fellow employees could attack a worker, leaving the victim with severe injuries. Not long after an assault, an employee may wonder if he or she may file for workers’ compensation.

Workers’ compensation and assault cases

Workers’ compensation benefits may be available when someone is assaulted at work, subject to Minnesota state law. In general, if the assault and related injury occurred at work while the employee performed job-related duties, the victim may receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Minnesota law does consider motivation when determining whether someone may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If personal reasons unrelated to work led to the assault, that may affect eligibility. Under Minnesota law, assaults due to “personal reasons” are not covered. Regardless, the possibility may still exist to file a lawsuit against the responsible party.

Seeking workers’ compensation benefits

Minnesota follows a no-fault workers’ compensation approach. That means when filing for workers’ compensation, an employee does not need to prove negligence. However, unprovoked assaults could reflect significantly negligent behavior.

Although the initial workers’ compensation claim may not be approved, the claimant could take further steps. Filing an appeal may lead to a reversal of the denial. Legal professionals may question whether the assault truly was “purely personal.” If not, the workers’ comp claim could be valid.

Assault victims may consider looking into the ability to file for benefits and a personal injury lawsuit. Doing so could be possible in some situations.

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