Do I Need a Lawyer If I Am Hurt At Work?
After getting injured on the job, it is natural to have concerns about what will happen to you and your family. Montana law provides for workers’ compensation wage-loss and medical benefits for individuals that are hurt on the job. One of the main objectives of Montana’s Workers’ Compensation Act is to facilitate prompt payment of benefits to injured workers, regardless of fault, and without the need for an attorney.
Mont. Code Ann. § 39-71-105, states:
“(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 provide assistance to 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…
(4) Montana's workers' compensation and occupational disease insurance systems are intended to be primarily self-administering. Claimants should be able to speedily obtain benefits, and employers should be able to provide coverage at reasonably constant rates. To meet these objectives, the system must be designed to minimize reliance upon lawyers and the courts to obtain benefits and interpret liabilities.”
However, this ideal notion oftentimes does not work out for injuried workers, and not ensuring your legal rights can be costly to you and your family.
Workers’ Compensation Insurers in Montana are “for profit” companies. Therefore, the less money the insurer pays on claims the more money it earns. Insurer’s try to achieve this cost-savings objective throughout claims by paying lower benefit rates, denying medical treatment, denying medical conditions, not informing injured workers about the full range of benefits available, and/or denying claims in their entirety. To make matters worse, these insurers are sophisticated organizations with lots of money and resources at their disposal, including medical doctors that are paid big money to say what the insurer needs. (For more information on Independent Medical Examiners see Murphy Law Firm’s blog titled, “What is an Independent Medical Examiner” at www.murphylawoffice.net).
Without representation, it can be very difficult for you or your loved ones to know your rights are being protected. Insurance companies rely on this fact to their advantage. Generally, waiting until you receive an adverse decision from the insurer before seeking representation can be harmful. Therefore, if you need an attorney the sooner he or she is involved in the claim the better.
Here are a few circumstances which may mean you need an attorney: (1) your injury requires surgery; (2) you or your doctor believes you are no longer able to work at your time of injury job; (3) you have pre-existing disabilities or injuries; (4) your claim was denied; (5) the insurer denied a medical condition or an injured body part; (6) you believe you are not receiving the correct amount of benefits; (7) your medical treatment was denied; (8) you were terminated from your job due to your injury; (9) you were offered a settlement which you believe is too low; (10) you have a permanent impairment; or, (10) you do not understand the workers' compensation process and question the information the insurer is telling you.
Regardless of the circumstances, you are entitled to obtain an attorney. If want answers to your questions, or you have concerns about your workers’ compensation claim, call Murphy Law Firm today for a free consultation at (406) 452-2345, or visit on us on the web at www.murphylawoffice.net. At Murphy Law Firm we have over 50 years of experience protecting injured workers and their families, and we will ensure that your legal rights are protected and you recieve fair compensation.