MONTANA WORKERS COMP. LAWYERS

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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 claim. 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 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 work in your work-related accident claim. At Anderson & Bliven 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.