Workers Compensation in Billings, MT

You aren’t alone if you ask “How does workers comp work?” Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer is required to carry is governed by Montana state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books in the state where the business operates. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation, the insurance carrier should help ease the financial burden the illness or injury created on the worker. Learn some of the basic principles of Billings, MT workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.

Workers Compensation Statistics in Billings, Montana?

Montana’s Department of Labor & Industry reports Montana’s non-fatal workplace injury and illness rate is higher than the national average. Manufacturing has one of Montana’s highest rates of workplace injury, as does construction. In fact, the most hazardous occupation categories were construction & extraction, as well as transportation & material moving. Billings is Montana’s largest city, and its massive energy industry includes mining, refineries, and purification plants. This might result in a higher rate of workplace incidents when compared to the State average.

How Does Workers Comp Work in Billings, Montana?

Unfortunately, going through the process of applying for workers’ compensation begins with getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to your problems are especially crucial. For example, the injury had to occur during your regular work duties. While an event that happens during your lunch break wouldn’t apply, getting into a car accident while running an errand for your boss would qualify for a claim. 

Montana’s Department of Labor & Industry stipulates employers with one or more employees must have workers’ compensation coverage. However, there are employee exceptions, such as domestic workers. Regardless of fault, injured workers can receive medical benefits, disability benefits, and vocational rehabilitation benefits. If you live in Billings, there is a Vocational Rehabilitation Program office located at 2121 Rosebud Drive. Of note, Montana Law decrees that a stress claim, also referred to as a mental-mental or mental-physical claim, is not compensable.

For example, say your supervisor asked you to drop something off on your lunch break. While running this errand you then get in a car accident on your way to the destination. Any resulting injury is eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if you are on your lunch break, performing no such task when you get in an accident, it does not qualify for a claim.

The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Billings, MT are critical for purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.

Get Medical Attention

After you get injured or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay seeking help from a Billings, MT healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process. Having a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occured is the first step in the process. Your employer cannot file a claim with their insurance carrier without this information.

When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months before a doctor finally associates your illness with your job. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is either the result of your work conditions or aggravated by them. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.

File a First Report of Injury

The first report of an on the job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events leading up to the injury. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to bring a copy of the doctor’s report to submit with the report of injury.

In Montana, you must inform your employer of your injury within 30 days of the accident. You must also submit a signed First Report of Injury within 12 months from the date of the accident. Upon receipt, the insurer has 30 days to accept or deny your claim. If your claim is denied, your Workers’ Compensation Court hearing is typically held at the Yellowstone County District Court.

Timeline and Other Information

Montana’s Department of Labor & Industry cites disability benefits equal to 66 ⅔ of gross wages, with a maximum of $849 a week. Notably, this State maximum is less than the Billings Average Weekly Wage of $970. You are eligible for payments starting with the 33rd hour or 5th day of wage losses. However, If you miss 21 days or more, compensation may be paid retroactively to the first day of total wage loss.

Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point about the incident and any possible witnesses to the event. In the meantime, the workers’ comp insurer may begin paying medical benefits while the investigation into your claim continues.

Why You Should Hire a Billings, Montana Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Billings, Montana, in others it may be more difficult. For example, your employer may decide to question whether you were hurt on the clock or your own time. It’s also common for a company to question the full extent of your injury. Hiring a Billings workers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Billings, Montana

If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Billings, MT you need to find the right people to help. Since the workers’ compensation claims process can have pitfalls, you should consider getting a local attorney who knows how to avoid them. 

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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