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Can I File a Workers Compensation Claim in Minnesota?

by Steve Fields | May 26th, 2017

Injured While Working in Minnesota vs. Injured While Working for a Minnesota-based Company

Clients are often unsure whether they can file their Workers’ Compensation claim in Minnesota if they either weren’t in Minnesota when they suffered a work-related injury, or the company they work for isn’t based in Minnesota. Certain requirements must be met in order to file a workers’ compensation claim in Minnesota.

There are three scenarios where injured workers have right to Workers’ Comp benefits in Minnesota:

  1. If you are injured while working in Minnesota, regardless of where your employer is based.
  2. If you work for a Minnesota-based company, and you are injured while temporarily out-of-state.
  3. If you regularly work in Minnesota, but you are injured on the job outside of Minnesota.

Injured While Working in Minnesota

In the first scenario, you can file a claim in Minnesota if you are injured while working in Minnesota, even if you work for an out-of-state company. In some instances, you may choose which state to pursue a claim in. For example, if you don’t regularly work in Minnesota but are injured in Minnesota, you can elect which state to make a claim in, either Minnesota or the state where you are employed.

Keep in mind, once you file a claim you cannot change your decision. Even if you have received Workers Compensation benefits from another state for a previous work injury, you can still file your claim in Minnesota for any new work injury, as long as you have not filed the claim in another state.

Client Success Story

A union construction worker from St. Louis, Missouri was working a job in Minnesota and tore a tendon in his knee. His workers’ compensation adjuster was only reimbursing him for mileage until he could prove he was following a treatment plan.

He contacted Fields Law for help. Our attorneys stayed in frequent contact with the adjuster and our client to ensure he received full benefits. After about eighteen months of payments and treatment, our client was ready to return to work.

Two years later, our client exacerbated the injury at work and his condition worsened. Fields attorneys filed a claim petition with the Department of Labor for permanent disability benefits. Our support staff compiled all our client’s medical records to prove that he could no longer work.

During preparations for trial, the insurance company agreed to mediate the claim. Our attorneys negotiated a generous $100,000 lump sum settlement. Our client was pleased to be done fighting the insurance company, and was happy that Fields Law provided long-term professional representation.

Injured While Working Temporarily Out-of-State

Certain employees who are temporarily out of state can also file a Workers’ Compensation claim in Minnesota. Three criteria must be met to determine the “jurisdiction”: the employee is hired in Minnesota, by a Minnesota employer, and is injured while temporarily outside the state.

For the first factor, the final decision on your employment has to come from within Minnesota. So, if you fill out an application in Minnesota but are not formally hired until you talk to someone out of an Ohio or Pennsylvania office, Minnesota will likely not have jurisdiction. On the other hand, if you talk to someone from Rhode Island but go into a Minnesota office to fill out the paperwork and are offered a job in Minnesota, Minnesota will likely extend jurisdiction.

For the second factor, it doesn’t matter where the employer is incorporated. What matters is whether or not the employer has an office or location in Minnesota from which the employee can be dispatched from and paid. The Court will simply consider whether or not the employer has an office in Minnesota.

For the final factor, as long as the employee is not working at a job outside of the state which is intended to be a relocation or permanent, Minnesota jurisdiction will be extended. As long as there is no intention to permanently relocate, then there is likely jurisdiction in Minnesota.

Injured Out-of-State But Working with Regularity in Minnesota

In this scenario, Minnesota will extend coverage to any employee who regularly performs the primary duties of his employment in Minnesota but is hurt while outside of the state, if working for the same employer. A fundamental part of your employment has to be in Minnesota. For example, if you are a trucker and deliver to Minnesota twice a week, you are regularly performing your duties in Minnesota.

Matters of jurisdiction, and determining where to file your claim for benefits, can be very complicated. Our Minnesota Workers’ Compensation attorneys would be happy to review your options with you, explain Workers Compensation laws in Minnesota, and help you make a decision that’s best for your situation. Call us today for answers to your questions.