What Do I Do If I'm Denied Workers' Comp Benefits?

Montana’s workers’ compensation insurance program is designed to provide immediate benefits for individuals who are injured at work regardless of the type of injury. However, there are certain factors the Montana Department of Labor and Industry must consider.

In most instances, the most common work injuries are reported directly to a supervisor, who in turn should contact the respondent insurance company or the state board. The workers’ comp law in Montana allows injured workers to file claims personally as well.

A large number of initial applications are denied by the insurance company, often due to missing information or incomplete paperwork. That’s when it’s necessary to retain an experienced Montana workers’ compensation attorney who understands how to craft a successful claim presentation like our legal team at Odegaard Miller Law.

What an Attorney Can Do

An employer may try to argue against a workers’ comp claim, even when the employer is in compliance with the workers’ comp law regarding providing coverage. An employer, however, has no say in whether the claim is accepted or denied. Having a legal representative means a full investigation can be conducted concerning how the injury occurred and what the conditions were surrounding the accident.

All testimony or evidence provided by the employer can be evaluated for validity or collusion between the employer and the insurance provider. A novice injured worker is at a real disadvantage when they file a claim without benefit of legal counsel that understands this common practice.

Bad Faith Claims

Many times, a workplace injury benefit claim is denied by the insurance company because of bad faith tactics used by the employer or the insurance company, and sometimes both when they have a private agreement in denying the claim.

This scenario happens more often than people realize, especially in industries that have a policy of hiring private contractors instead of carrying an employee roster.

While this tactic may work regarding tax issues, it is not an acceptable claim in an injury case. The Department of Labor and Industry is primarily concerned with the nature of the relationship between the claimant and respondent instead of business technicalities.

Insurance companies can be guilty of this standard, and additional legal action could result when an aggressive workers’ compensation attorney can prove bad faith or collusion.

Employer Negligence

Sometimes, an investigation may reveal non-compliance with safety regulations governing an industry. This happens more often than workers realize and many workplace injuries happen in remote locations with little regulatory oversight.

Additional legal action can arise when a workers’ compensation attorney can investigate the accident and provide documented evidence of non-compliance, revealing negligence on the employer’s part.

The reasons that a workers’ compensation claim has been denied matters greatly in winning an appeal or actually taking the case to a full trial in a state court. Anyone in Montana who has been denied workers’ compensation benefits should contact Odegaard Miller Law for a full free case evaluation.