Workers’ compensation coverage is intended to provide the worker with a swift and certain remedy if you have been hurt on the job, without the need to go to court to get your medical bills and wage loss.
The purpose and goals of the Montana Workers’ Compensation system are set out in the statute, and are primarily to be cost effective way to get workers’ back to work. The statute limits benefits for workers and excludes certain types of claims. An attorney can be helpful in helping the injured person obtain the appropriate compensation under the system, but also to look at other potential claims and sources of recovery since the workers’ compensation statute is limited.
As set out in Montana Code Annotated (MCA) 39-71-105:
39-71-105. Declaration of public policy. For the purposes of interpreting and applying this chapter, the following is the public policy of this state:
(1) An objective of the Montana workers’ compensation system is to provide, without regard to fault, wage-loss and medical benefits to a worker suffering from a work-related injury or disease. Wage-loss benefits are not intended to make an injured worker whole but are intended to assist a worker at a reasonable cost to the employer. Within that limitation, the wage-loss benefit should bear a reasonable relationship to actual wages lost as a result of a work-related injury or disease.
. . .
(3) A worker’s removal from the workforce because of a work-related injury or disease has a negative impact on the worker, the worker’s family, the employer, and the general public. Therefore, an objective of the workers’ compensation system is to return a worker to work as soon as possible after the worker has suffered a work-related injury or disease.
. . .
(5) This chapter must be construed according to its terms and not liberally in favor of any party. (6) It is the intent of the legislature that: (a) stress claims, often referred to as “mental-mental claims” and “mental-physical claims”, are not compensable under Montana’s workers’ compensation and occupational disease laws. The legislature recognizes that these claims are difficult to objectively verify and that the claims have a potential to place an economic burden on the workers’ compensation and occupational disease system. The legislature also recognizes that there are other states that do not provide compensation for various categories of stress claims and that stress claims have presented economic problems for certain other jurisdictions. In addition, not all injuries are compensable under the present system, and it is within the legislature’s authority to define the limits of the workers’ compensation and occupational disease system. (b) for occupational disease claims, because of the nature of exposure, workers should not be required to provide notice to employers of the disease as required of injuries and that the requirements for filing of claims reflect consideration of when the worker knew or should have known that the worker’s condition resulted from an occupational disease. The legislature recognizes that occupational diseases in the workplace are caused by events occurring on more than a single day or work shift and that it is within the legislature’s authority to define an occupational disease and establish the causal connection to the workplace.
Despite the limited benefits available to injured workers under the statute, and the changes in the statute by the Legislature in the 2011 session, insurers deny claims and benefits they should pay. Insurers and carriers do often pay the benefits due, but in many cases do not. If a defense to a claim is available, it will probably be made by the insurer. If you have been injured on the job, do not accept the automatic denial of your workers’ compensation claim by a claims examiner. It is anything but the final word in your work-related accident claim. At Bliven Law Firm, P.C. in Kalispell, Montana, we help injured workers secure the benefits they are entitled to following a denial, usually without going to court. Our personal injury, compensation and injury lawyers have a combined 35 years of legal experience and an experience with the complicated workers’ compensation and related disability and other injury and insurance laws.
If you are injured on the job and denied rightful workers’ compensation or other benefits, or if someone other than your employer was at fault in your injury, let us help. Contact us at (406) 755-6828 for a free initial consultation about your workers’ compensation claim.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys represent those who have sustained many types of work-related injuries, including:
At Bliven Law Firm, P.C. we walk you through applying for workers’ compensation benefits when you have been seriously injured. We fight to protect your rights and obtain recovery from insurance providers. You do not have to face them on your own. You do not have to accept any decision they make as final.
At Bliven Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys become involved when you retain us to make sure an appropriate investigation is completed and the facts are obtained. Time is of the essence in contacting us. Our team will strive to see that all critical evidence is obtained and preserved so we can prove your claim and maximize your financial and other recovery.
We are looking out for your best interests, not the workers’ compensation insurer or carrier. They want to show that while you cannot perform the functions of your current job, you can do something, no matter how minor or whether not it pays much less than your job at injury. Often times the workers’ compensation insurers hire nurse case managers to direct your care and get your doctors to say you can go back to work at your job, or other jobs, that may not be available in your area or even exist in the local economy. Providers are often resistant to give vocational rehabilitation benefits to help you take a new career direction, or even rate your impairment so you get the permanent disability award you are entitled to under the statute. Our job is to aggressively pursue your interests, and everything else you are entitled to, so you can move on with your life. Unlike many other law firms in this valley and this state that claim to work for injured folks, – we have never been lawyers for insurance companies, nor will we. We work for the injured and disabled and fight the insurance companies. The insurance companies have lawyers working on the case and so should you – that is true. Some lawyers think that it is acceptable to work for both sides in injury and disability cases. We don’t – we are dedicated to injured and disabled. We are lawyers that are working for injured people all the time, never for the insurance companies.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a Montana workers’ compensation lawyer, please call right away at (406) 755-6828. If we can’t help you or improve your situation there is no attorney fee.
The Montana personal injury attorneys at Bliven Law Firm, P.C., handle all types of Personal Injury, Serious Injury, Workers’ Compensation and Railroad Injury matters in Kalispell, Columbia Falls, Whitefish, Bigfork, Flathead county, and throughout the state of Montana. If you have been injured by a car wreck or suffered any type of serious injury, call our Kalispell personal injury attorneys at (406) 755-6828 for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.