Montanans have a long and proud history of hard work. We know what it takes to be successful, and we aren’t afraid to put in the time to make it happen. You’ve been a reliable, conscientious employee, and when an injury keeps you from work, it can be devastating. The physical pain of the injury and the lost wages from missed work are stressful for you and your family.
Workers’ compensation benefits exist to help workers through this time, so they can recover as fully as possible and hopefully return to their normal lives. The system can seem overwhelming, though, and plenty of attorneys are out there warning of the dangers of going it alone. The truth is that many injured workers can manage their own workers’ compensation claim, but there are certain situations that can be improved by help from experienced representation. Here, we share important information about what workers’ compensation is and how to know when you should seek legal advice.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a benefits system much like health insurance. When an employee suffers an injury during the course of his work, the employer provides benefits (typically through an insurance company) to aid in his recovery and return to work. Workers’ compensation provides benefits for:
- Medical care. These benefits fully pay for medical treatment related to the work injury. It can include coverage for medications, hospitalizations, rehabilitation, follow-up appointments, and much more.
- Wage replacement. There are a number of different types of wage replacement benefits, depending on the severity of the injury and how long the employee will be unable to work. Both temporary and permanent benefits are available, and they typically pay the injured worker up to 2/3 of his salary at the time of the injury (subject to a state-set limit).
These benefits are provided regardless of fault. This means that injured workers can obtain care and compensation even if they bear some responsibility for the accident or injury. In return, employers are shielded from time-consuming and costly litigation; typically, workers are barred from pursuing a personal injury claim against their employer. Every state in the country operates its own workers’ compensation program. In Montana, this covers most of the approximately 525,000 members of the workforce.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Cases We Accept
Like other types of injury cases, many workers’ compensation claims can easily be handled by the injured worker himself. It is possible to navigate the state system on your own for small or straightforward claims. In certain situations, however, the stakes are higher, and insurance companies will likely seek to take advantage of injury victims and their families. At Foust Law Office, we are here to help in cases of:
- Domiciliary Care – Domiciliary care is essentially 24-hour care. In some cases, a complete recovery from the work injury is not possible and employees require constant care over the long term. This care is both expensive and essential, and it can have significant effects on the worker’s family.
- Death – When a worker dies due to an accident or injuries sustained on the job, surviving family members do have rights to compensation. These benefits can be especially important when the worker was the main source of income for the family, and they can help surviving family members remain financially stable during an already difficult time.
- Claim Denials – Many times, insurance companies will deny legitimate claims in an effort to save money. It is possible to appeal these decisions, but the process does require more work than a typical workers’ compensation claim. It can include both mediation with the insurance company and appearing at a hearing with the state Workers’ Compensation Court.
Contact Our Bozeman Office to Learn More About Your Legal Options
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries or been killed on the job, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Even if you aren’t sure of your rights, don’t hesitate to reach out to Foust Law Office. You can speak directly with Lucas, who will learn more about your situation and help you decide the best way forward for your unique case. If we can do more for you than you can do on your own, we’ll be happy to take your case. If we think you can handle your claim on your own, we’ll help provide the information you need to be successful.