The short answer to the question “can I sue my employer” is no.

In Minnesota, if a person is injured on the job, their exclusive remedy is the workers compensation system. In other words, you can file a work comp claim, but you cannot bring a civil suit against your employer for any negligence on their part. There may, however, be other people you can bring a claim against, if the negligence of a third party (who is not your employer) contributed to your injuries. For example, if you slipped in a puddle of oil at work walking into the building, and the building is owned and maintained by someone other than your employer, you may be able to bring a claim against the owner of that building for negligence.

You may also be able to bring a claim if it is determined that you are not an employee of the company. For example, if you are an independent contractor. These types of claims do require you to prove that the other party was negligent, which is sometimes difficult. Just because an accident occurred does not necessarily mean that someone was legally negligent. Minnesota workers compensation does not require you to prove negligence.

Too often injured workers are unable to move forward because they are fixated on fault and blame. The reality is that fault is not often discussed in the workers compensation setting. This may not be fair, but it is the reality of the situation and cannot be changed. A successful outcome is more likely to be reached if you can focus on the things within your control.