Workplace injuries and fatalities have decreased in Montana. Yet, according to the Billings Gazette, “Montana ranks among the worst states in the country for workplace injuries and illnesses, for reasons that continue to elude state officials.”
Montana’s Department of Industry and Labor reported 2016 experience at 4.2 injuries for every 100 full-time workers with manufacturing accounting for 5.4 per 100 full-time workers and construction reporting 4.9 injuries per 100 workers.
If you have been injured at work, then you deserve to be compensated. Here’s how
File your report
If you are able, you must report any injury on the job to your supervisor, workers’ compensation insurer, or employer immediately. There is nothing to gain by putting the report off.
- If you are hurt in an accident, you must report it within 30 days of the occurrence.
- If you are suffering from an occupational disease, you have a year from when you knew or should have known about your condition.
You should report even apparently minor injuries. Any report should include the time, date, and circumstances of the injury. The employer’s insurer has 30 days to accept or deny your First Report of Injury (FROI)
Secure medical attention
Employers have primary liability for workplace safety. So, they must provide immediate medical assistance. Employers must have in place protocols for treating minor injuries. But, they must have processes for notifying first responders in the event of more serious injuries. Most employers have working relationships with local medical treatment centers recommended by the workers’ comp insurer.
Employees are expected to cooperate with their employer’s policies and procedures, but they have a right to pursue care with medical professionals of their own choice.
Understand the workers’ comp benefits
Employers are required to secure and maintain workers’ compensation insurance for all employees. If the claim does not meet problems, the insurance will pay medical bills, prescription drugs, mileage for care, two-thirds of an employee’s weekly pay, and rehabilitation costs.
If you are not able to return to your work, the employer must assign you to comparable work and pay. And, if you cannot return to work respecting your education and experience, you can pursue a financial settlement for your current and future losses.
- The Great Falls Tribune (02//28/2018) reported, “State Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale said Wednesday he approved a nearly 11 percent reduction in Montana workers’ compensation loss costs.” And, that’s good news for employers and employees because it allows employers to spend their money better and because it indicates fewer employees have suffered injuries.
Have you been injured at work?
If you have been injured at work, you may feel you have not been compensated as you deserve. This is not a do-it-yourself project. You need help from an injury lawyer to navigate the sometimes rough waters of insurance, medical, and court issues that threaten your securing the compensation necessary to make you financially whole following your injury.