Claims: Filing

Siebken v. Liberty [11/27/07] 2007 MTWCC 48 Under the latent injury doctrine, the notice requirement does not apply until the claimant is aware that he has suffered an injury or may be entitled to compensation. In this case, Petitioner waited more than the thirty days allowed under § 39-71-603, MCA, after he learned of his injury until he informed his employer. Therefore, his claim is time-barred.

Baxter v. UEF [9/20/00] 2000 MTWCC 65 Accident Information Sheet completed by injured worker when seeking medical care immediately following injury and forwarded to employer contained adequate information under section 39-71-601, MCA (1995) and its submission to employer satisfied statutory requirement that within one year claim be "presented in writing to the employer, the insurer, or the department, as the case may be." Court refuses to read into statute any requirement that employee present claim to department rather than employer in cases where employer is not insured.

Corcoran v. Montana Schools Group Insurance Authority [5/23/00] 2000 MTWCC 30 Under 39-72-403, MCA (1995), which requires a written claim within one year from the date "the claimant knew or should have known that the claimant's condition resulted from an occupational disease," awareness of pain, and awareness that the pain is a result of work, does not constitute knowledge that one suffers from an "occupational disease," as defined in 39-72-102(10), MCA (1995-1999). The key words in the section are "harm" and "damage," meaning something more significant than suffering pain after a hard days' work. The limitations period commences when the worker has some specific knowledge of a specific pathological condition stemming from employment and requiring diagnosis or treatment.
McGuin v. State Compensation Insurance Fund [12/16/99] 1999 MTWCC 82 Claimant who did not realize until years later that incident occurring during 1986 diving training resulted in serious ear problems was not barred by his failure to file a claim within one year of the incident. Because he was unaware of his condition or that it arose during the work incident, he filed a timely claim within one year of the diagnosis of his condition.
Guedesse v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company [3/12/97] 1997 MTWCC 10 Where the claim form signed by claimant did not state any specific event or any specific time or place for an alleged injury, it fails to identify an industrial accident or injury within the meaning of the Workers' Compensation Act. The "automatic acceptance" rule of Haag v. Montana Schools Group Ins. Authority, 274 Mont. 109, 906 P.2d 693 (1995) comes into play only if the insurer has received a valid claim for injury, containing sufficient information to inform the employer and insurer of the nature and basis of the claim. As the insurer argues, the claim submitted in this case, at best, suggests claimant is suffering from an occupational disease, and the insurer accepted the claim as such.
Partin v. State Fund [3/14/97] 1997 MTWCC 11 WCC reversed conclusion of DOL hearing officer that reversed Department's order waiving one-year filing requirement on basis of equitable estoppel. Hearing officer erred in finding that, even if claimant's testimony were credited, he had not established elements justifying equitable estoppel of assertion of statute of limitations. If claimant's testimony is credited, he has established the requirements of equitable estoppel based on the employer's alleged representations to him concerning use of health insurance and payment of additional expenses by the employer.
Partin v. State Fund [3/14/97] 1997 MTWCC 11 WCC reversed conclusion of DOL hearing officer that Association of Service Contractors (AOSC) accident report allegedly filed by claimant did not satisfy the written claim requirement of section 39-71-601, MCA (1991). Contention that an official workers' compensation claim form must be filed was rejected in Weigand v. Anderson-Meyer Drilling Co., 232 Mont. 390, 393, 758 P.2d 260, 261-262 (1988), where the Supreme Court held the written claim must only contain sufficient information to inform the employer or insurer of the nature and basis of the possible claim and to enable it to investigate the claim and, if necessary, to prepare a defense.
Partin v. State Fund [3/14/97] 1997 MTWCC 11 The question whether claimant in fact provided a written report to the employer satisfying the one-year limitations period of section 39-71-601(1), MCA (1991) is for the Workers' Compensation Court, not the Department of Labor and Industry, because this question does not involve waiver of the one-year limitations period, but concerns whether a claim was timely filed.
McNeese v. State Compensation Ins. Fund [05/05/95] 1995 MTWCC 33 Failure of employer to file a workers’ compensation claim for claimant is not grounds to extent the one-year claim filing requirement of section 39-71-603, MCA (1989). As stated in Grenz v. Fire & Casualty of Connecticut, 260 Mont. 60, 65 (1993), the “employer has no duty to pursue the employee’s claim for him.”