Risk Management & Tort Defense

Protecting Montana's Vital Assets & Resources

State Agencies and Universities Reporting A Loss

In accordance with §2-9-303, MCA, the Risk Management & Tort Defense Division (RMTD) may settle any claim for personal injury/property damage in behalf of state agencies and universities. Timely and accurate reporting of claims is critical in order to protect the interests of the state/university and its employees. Please follow these procedures to report a claim.

  1. For reporting purposes, claims fall into one of four categories:

    a. Vehicle - losses arising from the use of state/university owned, leased, or courtesy vehicles, mobile equipment, and watercraft.

    b. Personal Injury - losses to 'non-state parties' arising from personal injury or property damage other than vehicles.

    c. Property - losses to state/university property other than automobile and personal injury arising from perils such as hail, windstorm, earthquake, fire, theft, etc.

    d. Cyber/Data Information Security/Other Incident - losses arising from a cyber/data information security/other incident. Please click here for more specific information about when and how to report a cyber/data information security incident.
  2. After an agency or university has suffered a loss, the employee most familiar with the incident should immediately notify his/her supervisor and complete a Report of Incident form. Citizens or other third parties that incur personal injuries or property damage as a result of the state/university’s negligence, should be told by the involved state/university employee they may file a claim with Risk Management and Tort Defense by following procedures Public Reporting a Loss. For vehicular accidents, guidelines about what information to collect and what to say and do at the accident scene may be found in the Accident Form located in the vehicle glove box. For further information, please refer to the Motor Vehicle Accident Report Guide at Reporting Motor Vehicle Accidents Guide.
  3. The immediate supervisor or his/her designee must conduct an investigation to determine what happened, why it happened, and how the claim can be prevented from recurring.
  4. Any catastrophic property loss, data incident, or other loss which involves a fatality or bodily injury, should be telephoned to RMTD claims staff at (406)444-2421 by the immediate supervisor or his/her designee as early as possible the day of the incident, or, if after normal business hours (i.e. 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), the next day. The ‘Report of Incident’ must be signed by the supervisor and submitted to RMTD within 24 hours.
  5. For all other losses, the immediate supervisor or designee must assure that a Report of Incident form is accurately completed, signed, and sent to RMTD within 5 business days. Claims that are not reported within 60 days may be denied.
  6. A Report of Incident form should be initiated even if no injury or property damage resulted from the incident. An incident that occurs today with little consequence for the agency or university involved, may have serious consequences for others at some future date.
  7. The Report of Incident form must contain only factual information. State/university personnel who are completing the reports should exercise caution not to place blame on other state/university employees or admit liability.
  8. Do not furnish information on claims or lawsuits to unauthorized persons other than law enforcement officials. Obtain names and address of witness. Refer all other questions to RMTD.
  9. In the event of a claim involving theft of money, securities, or other property, notify the police immediately and call RMTD claims staff as soon as possible.
  10. Copies of the Report of Incident form shall be distributed as follows:

    Risk Management and Tort Defense Division
    1625 11th Avenue
    P.O. Box 200124
    Helena, MT 59620-0124

    Department of Transportation, Organizational Development Bureau for claims involving motor pool vehicles. One copy of each report shall be maintained by the respective agency. If possible, photographs and diagrams of the losses should also be provided.

  11. Contact us. If a loss occurs during normal business hours you may reach any of our staff at their phone extensions http://rmtd.mt.gov/aboutus/organizationstaff or call (406)444-2421. In the event of an emergency, after normal business hours call (406)444-2421 and press 1. for Jennie Younkin, 2. for Gordon Amsbaugh, 3. for Kirk Barfuss, 4. for Kathleen McElwain, or 5. for Brett Dahl. Your phone call will then be transferred to a live person. Follow the instructions at http://rmtd.mt.gov/claims/agenciesreportclaims for filing a claim and send the 'Report of Incident' and other appropriate documentation to our office immediately.