Step-by-step instructions and timeline for filing a work injury claim in Montana
If you’ve been hurt, injured or disabled due to a workplace accident or unsafe condition, you’re entitled to medical care and financial relief under Montana law. But first, you must successfully navigate the workers’ compensation claims process.
For a serious injury or illness, it’s important that your claim is complete and properly submitted. Obtaining the help of an experienced attorney early in the process can be of great benefit to you and your family. Our workers’ compensation team simplifies the claims process. We’ll handle all aspects of your case, including appeals.
At Murphy Law Firm, our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys in Great Falls, MT help injured workers receive the maximum benefits possible for recovery or long term disability. If you need assistance with this complex system, contact us to schedule your free consultation today.
Why hire Murphy Law Firm?
- We put our clients first
- We ONLY represent the injured
- Compassionate, aggressive and personal legal representation
- Licensed attorneys with extensive legal knowledge
- 65+ years of combined experience
- We’ve recovered millions of dollars in settlements for our clients
- Contingency fee (you don’t pay unless we win)
- Free consultation
Attorney Thomas J. Murphy
Founder of Murphy Law Firm
Our firm handles personal injury and workers’ compensation actions involving third parties, such as the manufacturer of a faulty product used at work. For instance, if a careless driver caused you injury while on-the-job, you may also be able to pursue damages in a civil lawsuit. Permanently injured victims may be eligible for social security disability as well.
Murphy Law Firm has successfully represented thousands of Montanans, including complex workers’ compensation claims.
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
When applying for workers’ compensation in Montana, timing is important. First, an injured employee must report an accident to their employer within 30 days.
Then, Montana law requires employers to file a First Report of Injury (FROI) form within 6 days of being notified by the injured worker. Employers can submit their FROI to their workers’ comp insurer or the Montana State Fund (MSF) via phone, fax, mail or online (see contact information below). The insurer will then have 30 days to accept or deny your claim. If accepted, you are eligible to receive compensation beginning the 33rd hour (or 5th day) of wage loss. If you’re unable to work for 21 days or longer, you may receive retroactive compensation to include your 1st day of total wage loss.
What about occupational illnesses & diseases?
An occupational disease claim must be submitted within 1 year of the date you become aware of the connection between the illness and your employment. Chronic and acute work-related conditions must be properly verified by an objective medical provider.
|Workers’ Compensation Timeline|
|Worker||Report. The employee reports an injury or illness to their employer||Reported verbally within 30 days of the accident with a written report within 1 year of any injury or occupational disease|
|Worker/Employer||Submit. The employer submits a completed First Report of Injury (FROI) form||Within 6 days after being notified about an injury or occupational disease|
|Employer||File. The employer files claim with their workers’ comp insurance company||Within 12 months (1 year) from the date of the accident|
|Insurer||Ruling. The insurer either accepts or denies the workers’ compensation claim||Within 30 days of the claim being filed|
|Worker||Appeal. If benefits are denied or terminated before an employee is ready to return to work, the worker may appeal||Within 2 years of termination or denial|
Reporting a Work-Related Injury to the Montana State Fund
Montana State Fund
Helena, MT 59604-4759
Employers must file a full and complete report of every on-the-job accident, injury and occupational disease within 6 days after notice. Either the employee’s supervisor or a designated staff person must fill out the FROI form—state law requires it. Montana State Fund’s online FROI is available from the hours of 7:00 am – 7:00 pm (Monday-Friday). To file an FROI with the MSF online or via phone, employers will need to provide the following pieces of information:
- Your Montana State Fund policy number
- The injured worker’s first name, middle initial, and last name
- Their Social Security number
- Their birth date
- Their gender
- Their mailing address
- Their phone number
- Their employee classification code
- Their job title
- Their employee type
- Date of the accident or injury
- Description of the accident or injury
- Injured part of body
- Location where accident or injury occurred
- Date the employer was notified of the injury and who was notified
- Type of facility where the injured worker received treatment (if any)
- Whether the injured employee worked the next scheduled shift and if not, the last date worked
- Whether the employee had to take off work more than 4 days
In addition, if you’re using a login, you’ll need to know the date the injured employee was hired and their employment status. After submitting the FROI online, an MSF customer service specialist will be in touch within 1 business day about any additional information to complete your claim, if needed.
Denied or Terminated Benefits? How to Appeal
Some workplace injury and disability claims are initially denied by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier — or approved benefits may be terminated before an employee is ready to return to work.
Denial decisions can be appealed and requests for benefits can be reopened within 5 years of termination.
The Montana Department of Labor & Industry’s mediation unit is the first step in resolving benefits disputes. If the mediator cannot negotiate an agreement or settlement of the claim, the employee can pursue the matter in workers’ compensation court.
At all times in the appeal process, you are allowed representation by a qualified attorney. Most mediations are conducted by phone, but you can request an in-person mediation and bring substantiating evidence and witnesses.
Uninsured Employer? How to Obtain Benefits
The Uninsured Employers’ Fund was established to provide workers’ compensation benefits to injured workers who are employed by an uninsured employer. This fund pays injured workers the same benefits they would have received had their employer been covered.
In such cases, the uninsured employer is responsible for paying 100 percent of the medical and wage loss benefit of the injured employee, and may face a civil penalty as well for failing to be insured as state law requires. Uninsured employers may be fined double the premium they would have paid had they had workers’ compensation insurance.
If you were injured on the job and your employer doesn’t have insurance, contact the Uninsured Employers’ Fund:
Uninsured Employers’ Fund Workers’ Compensation Section
Employment Relations Division
PO Box 8011
Helena, MT 59604-8011
Workers’ Compensation Resources
Get answers to commonly asked work injury questions like what is workers’ comp insurance, who can file, what to do, what is an occupational disease, statistics and more.
Learn about the steps to file a work injury claim in Montana, including which forms you need to fill out, the deadline to report a workplace injury, and how to appeal a denied claim.
Many different types of catastrophic injuries can result from an on-the-job accident, such as traumatic brain injury, burn injuries, loss of limb, or vision loss. A fatality is the worst case scenario.
Employers are required to ensure a safe workspace for their employees. But some types of professions are inherently unsafe, especially in an industrial town like Great Falls, MT.
Our Montana Workers’ Compensation Law Firm Can Help Guide You Through the Entire Process: From Filing to Appeals
Murphy Law attorneys have had exceptional success assisting clients with appeals and providing legal representation in court. We consistently rank among the highest grossing workers’ comp attorneys in Montana, which means we win the most financial compensation for our clients.
At Murphy Law, we help deserving clients to achieve maximum medical improvement (MMI) status, allowing continuation of benefits for as long as possible.
Many past clients who were initially denied benefits now have lifelong income for permanently disabling conditions.
We may be able to help you obtain reimbursement and compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Travel expenses
- Loss of consortium (income, companionship, child care, etc.)
- Emotional distress (pain and suffering)
- Punitive damages (money given as punishment)
Contact Murphy Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation.
“I recommend Murphy Law Firm to anyone who needs legal assistance with a Workers’ Compensation claim. I was beyond impressed with Tommy Murphy’s handling of my case and ecstatic about the outcome. Incredibly professional and knowledgeable. No one in Montana knows more about this area of law.”