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5 Reasons for NM Worker’s Compensation Claims

NM worker’s compensation claims are filed for several reasons. Maybe you were hurt on the job or had an automobile accident during official travel while on the clock.

Work-related injuries and illnesses can devastate your life. They can strain you physically and financially. Worker’s compensation laws exist in New Mexico to alleviate the burden by providing the support you need.

In this blog, we discuss the 5 most common reasons for NM worker’s compensation claims, plus how you can get fair compensation for work-related illnesses and injuries.

1 – Assault or workplace violence

Assault or other workplace violence has unfortunately become more commonplace. According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 20,000 workers in the private industry experienced trauma from nonfatal workplace violence.

There were nearly 400 workplace fatalities from incidents of violence according to the latest data from BLS.

Workplace violence includes harassment, physical assault, and verbal threats. You don’t have to tolerate this kind of behavior. Report it to your employer. However, if your employers fails to act and you become injured, you have rights.

If another worker starts a fight with you that causes injuries, you can seek compensatory damages from your employer and your coworker under NM worker’s compensation laws.

Survivors of workplace violence that causes fatalities can seek punitive damages in a wrongful death lawsuit in addition to filing for survivor’s benefits through worker’s compensation.

2 – Car Accidents During Work-Related Travel

If you’re among the roughly 30% of workers in this country who must drive while on the clock, you might find yourself the victim of an automobile accident. Driving on the clock is a common task for many employees, especially those who work in delivery, sales, and transportation roles.

Whatever the reason for being behind the wheel during working hours, you’re covered by NM worker’s compensation laws if you have an accident.

According to the National Safety Council, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related fatalities in the U.S.

Your chances of getting hurt while driving for your job depends on several factors, including the type of job, driving conditions, and safety protocols in place. Driving long distances or in hazardous weather conditions increases the likelihood of an accident.

A hearing doctor examines a patient's ear using a special tool to determine hearing loss.
Hearing loss is common in workers who spend their days in loud environments.

3 – Illness caused by workplace conditions

Some workplaces expose employees to hazardous materials or environments that cause them to become ill or develop chronic health conditions. The type of illness varies depending on the industry and type of exposure.

Some of the most common work-related illnesses include:

  • Asbestosis is a chronic respiratory disease caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. Construction workers involved with building renovation are the most likely to suffer from this condition.
  • Hearing loss happens to employees exposed to high levels of noise for long periods. Construction, manufacturing, and transportation workers are the most likely to suffer from this condition.
  • Infection diseases are a hazard for healthcare workers and laboratory technicians who contact infectious agents like hepatitis and tuberculosis.
  • Lung cancer affects workers exposed to certain chemicals and substances on the job, including asbestos, benzene, and diesel exhaust.
  • Reproductive disorders can happen to workers exposed to certain chemicals and substances on the job, like lead and pesticides.
  • Silicosis happens to construction workers and miners who inhale large quantities of silica dust.
  • Skin conditions like dermatitis and eczema happen to workers exposed to hazardous chemicals or irritants on the job.

These are just a few examples of work-related illnesses that can happen to you if your job exposes you to hazardous working conditions. Consult with a NM worker’s compensation attorney if you believe an illness was caused by your work environment.

4 – Occupational diseases

Certain industries, like construction and mining, expose workers to harmful substances and conditions regularly. Workers can develop long-term illnesses or diseases from repeat exposure.

Some of the most common occupational diseases suffered by construction workers and miners include:

  • Black lung disease, also known as coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, is a lung disease caused by inhaling coal dust. Coal miners, power plant workers, and others exposed to coal dust are at risk for developing this occupational disease.
  • Mesothelioma is another lung disease caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. Construction workers and miners who work around materials containing insulation – cement pipes, roofing materials – are at an increased risk.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders happen more frequently to construction workers and miners. They include back injuries due to the physical demands of the job.
A worker operates a forklift in a warehouse. Machinery malfuctioning and accidents are common causes of NM worker's compensation claims.
Operating machinery like forklifts increases the risk of suffering a workplace accident.

5 – Work-related injuries

NM worker’s compensation claims are commonly filed for injuries sustained on the job.  Accidents, like slips and falls, and repetitive strain or overuse injuries, are among the most frequently cited complaints.

Some examples of work-related accidents that fall into this category include:

  • Burns can happen to workers who handle hot foods and liquids, flames, chemicals, and electrical currents while performing their work duties.
  • Machinery malfunctions and misuse can happen to workers who regularly use drills, forklifts, saws, and other heavy machinery to complete work tasks.
  • Repetitive motion injuries are common in workers who type all day, work on an assembly line, or use vibrating tools. They can end up with conditions like bursitis, carpal tunnel, and tendonitis.
  • Slips and falls can happen in any workplace where employees are exposed to slippery or wet surfaces. They can end up with broken bones, head injuries, and sprains.
  • Strains and sprains are most common in workers who lift heavy objects or complete physically- demanding tasks during their shifts.

Work-related injuries fall under worker’s compensation laws. If you’ve suffered one of the injuries listed above, reach out to a NM worker’s compensation attorney who can help you get fair compensation.

Help with NM worker’s compensation claims

Sometimes employers deny a worker’s compensation claim. If you’re injured or become ill because of your job, you have rights under NM worker’s compensation laws.

Request a free case evaluation with our firm to explore your options.

May 3, 2023