Construction worker sitting down after accident and person in foreground with first aid kid in hand

Injured Workers’ Rights in Montana

Gerstner Adam Law May 12, 2022

No matter where you work or what you do there are potential dangers. Whether it be a slip on the office floor, an accident involving a company vehicle, or an equipment injury on a construction site, you have the right to seek compensation if you are injured in any way at work. Insurance companies often have their own injured worker attorneys, and so should you.

Dealing with a work-related accident can be painful, confusing, and emotional. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, it is important to do what is necessary to protect yourself and speak with a qualified Montana workers’ compensation attorney. Workers’ compensation benefits are in place to help injured employees heal, recover, and maintain their established quality of life. The process of obtaining these benefits, however, can be lengthy and complicated. One seemingly minor mistake may potentially result in having your claim denied, your necessary treatment denied, and a sense of confusion.

If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, you need a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer by your side. The clear choice is Gerstner Adam Law. We are easy to talk with, will protect your rights, and will be strategically assertive with your claim. Don’t delay getting the help you need, so contact us today.

Gerstner Adam Law helps injured workers in Billings, Montana, as well as the surrounding areas of Glendive, Miles City, and Sidney.

Workers’ Compensation in Montana

By law, all employers in Montana are required to have Workers’ Compensation insurance. The workers’ compensation system in Montana is a “no-fault” system that compensates workers for various expenses that they incur as a result of workplace injuries. To obtain these benefits, the workers adhere to a specific process. Workers' compensation insurance provides benefits in the following ways:

  1. Medical payments for treatment of injuries

  2. Temporary disability payments

  3. Permanent disability payments

  4. Supplemental job displacement benefits

  5. In cases of death, surviving family members may be able to receive death benefits 

What Injuries Are Covered Under
Montana Workers’ Compensation?

Montana workers' compensation covers occupational illnesses as well as traumatic injuries caused by an accident on the job.

  • An injury that occurs on the job can be classified as a traumatic injury.

  • Occupational illnesses develop over time as a result of exposure to certain workplace conditions or hazards.

  • Occupational injuries (such as carpal tunnel syndrome) often occur due to repetitive motion.

What Employees Are Covered under Montana Workers’ Compensation?

In Montana, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This system provides workers who suffer injuries or illnesses with benefits regardless of the cause. In return for these benefits, injured employees are typically prohibited from filing personal injury claims against the employer.

In order to fully understand this process and how it can benefit you, it’s important to work with a skilled personal injury attorney for guidance.

In order to qualify for benefits, the injury or illness has to have been caused by the normal, required job duties. If an employee is going out to lunch or running a personal errand during a break period and suffers an injury, it is not covered.

Filing a Claim

If you've suffered an injury at work, your first step is to obtain an official diagnosis. In order to get initial treatment, you can go to your primary care provider. When the claim process has begun, the insurance provider may designate a specific doctor or will demand approval of the doctor you choose. You also need to immediately tell the medical provider that your injury or illness is due to your job. 

In order to initiate the claim process, you must follow two requirements:

  1. Notify your employer within 30 days of the injury or the date you became aware that your condition resulted from your job

  2. Your form must be submitted to your employer's insurer or the DLI within a 12-month window of the injury

Remember, if you fail to meet reporting deadlines, you can lose your right to receive any compensation.

Appealing a Decision

Insurance providers are often focused on denying workers’ compensation claims. Some of the most common reasons for the denial of claims include:

  • The employer contending that the injury occurred outside of your job

  • Inaccurate accident reports or claim forms

  • Illegal activities on the part of the employee (such as drug use)

  • Failing to meet filing deadlines

  • Disputing the severity or validity of the injury or illness

Even though you are not required to retain an attorney, a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the appeal process. The first step is filing a claim with the Employment Relations Division of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. The case will then be deliberated by a judge. When appealing, you can face a complex process. 

If the claim is denied, you need the help of an attorney to take further action. 

How an Experienced Attorney Can Help

Dealing with a workers' compensation claim is an extremely stressful time in anyone's life. At Gerstner Adam Law, we understand how scary it can be. With all the worry about returning to normal life, your health, your car, and your work, the thought of making sure you are properly compensated for your losses can be overwhelming. We have the experience to help bring you peace of mind.

At Gerstner Adam Law, it is our job to take care of the legalities related to your workers' compensation matters and ensure you are not taken advantage of. Don’t settle for far below what you may be entitled to or make the assumption that your employer is fighting for your best interest.

Let our personal injury attorneys at Gerstner Adam Law handle your workers’ compensation case so you don’t have to handle the headache. Our firm proudly serves injured workers in Billings, Montana, as well as the surrounding areas of Glendive, Miles City, and Sidney