Author: bkwritingsupport

Medical Evidence’s Role in Worker’s Compensation Claims

Medical evidence plays an important role in the successful outcome in worker’s compensation claims. It helps determine the extent of your injuries and provides evidence of your eligibility for benefits. The right kind of medical documentation props up your case by establishing a causal link between a work-related injury or illness and your job duties.

A workplace accident attorney knows medical evidence is essential in establishing your right to worker’s compensation benefits that include temporary or permanent disability. Choosing an attorney experienced in workplace compensation claims is the best way to determine:

How do you prove an injury happened at work?

Proving that an injury or illness happened at work is an important step in a worker’s compensation claim. It falls under the obligation of the employee as part of the burden of proof required for worker’s compensation claims.

Here are some ways you can validate an injury or illness happened on the job:

  • Report the injury or illness immediately. If you’re injured or begin to feel ill while on the job, it’s important to report it to your supervisor as soon as possible. Your employer must document your notification, which you can later use if there are problems obtaining worker’s compensation benefits.
  • Seek medical treatment. Don’t wait. Visit your doctor or an emergency room for treatment of your injuries immediately. Having your injuries or illnesses evaluated by a health professional lends to your credibility.
  • Document the accident. If your injury or illness happened after an accident at work, take photos of the accident scene, any equipment involved, and any visible injuries to yourself. Getting witness statements (when applicable) is also recommended.
  • File a worker’s compensation claim. Once you’ve been treated for your injuries or illness, file a worker’s compensation claim with your employer’s insurance company. Doing so triggers an investigation into your claim.
  • Consult a worker’s compensation attorney. Don’t wait until your employer challenges your worker’s compensation claim. Reach out to a workplace accident attorney to gather and present evidence that supports your claim.

What is the burden of proof for NM worker’s compensation claims?

In New Mexico, the burden of proof for worker’s compensation claims falls on the employee. You must show that your injury or illness happened while carrying out your job duties or while on the clock.

To meet the burden of proof in New Mexico, the employee must establish three things.

  1. The injury or illness happened because of their job.
    You must show that your illness or injury was caused by a specific work-related incident or a specific duty you’re required to carry out while on the job.
  2. The injury or illness happened during regular job duties.
    Were you doing something you’re required to do on the job, or did your illness or injury happen when you were engaged in another activity on work premises? If it’s the latter of the two, your employer may not be responsible for covering your treatment.
  3. The injury or illness is compensable.
    You must show that your injury or illness qualifies for compensation under worker’s compensation laws. New Mexico’s worker’s compensation system covers medical expenses, wage replacement, and other related costs.

Once your workplace accident attorney establishes these three elements, the burden of proof shifts to the employer or their insurance carrier to either prove the injury or illness isn’t compensable or is not related to your job duties.

A man carries packages from a van to a home he's delivering for an employer.
Commuting to and from work isn’t covered, but injuries while performing official work duties fall under worker’s compensation laws.

Which issues aren’t covered by worker’s compensation?

New Mexico’s worker’s compensation system is designed to provide benefits to workers who become injury or ill because of their job duties. However, there are some issues that aren’t covered. Here are some of the instances when you may not be covered by New Mexico worker’s compensation.

  • Intentional acts. If you’re injured by a supervisor or employee engaging in an intentional act, you may not qualify for worker’s compensation. In those instances, a civil lawsuit seeking compensatory damages from the other person may be more appropriate.
  • Self-inflicted injuries. If you intentionally injure yourself, and your employer can prove it, you’re not covered by worker’s compensation. Even worse, you might be criminally prosecuted if your intent was to commit worker’s compensation insurance fraud.
  • Injuries sustained while under the influence. If you hurt yourself or become ill on the job because you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your employer isn’t liable.
  • Commuting injuries. Your employer is only responsible to injuries you obtain if you’re making an official trip for them while on the clock. If you end up in an accident on your way to or from work, that doesn’t qualify for worker’s compensation.

Every worker’s compensation case is unique, which is why it’s important to discuss your circumstances with an experienced worker’s compensation attorney.

An MRI technician stands at the end of an MRI machine.
MRIs are considered medical evidence that can support your worker’s compensation claim.

Which documents are considered medical evidence?

Medical evidence is an important component of a worker’s compensation claim. It’s one of several pieces of documentation you’ll need to prove your case if your employer issues a challenge.

Some types of documents that fall into the medical evidence category include:

  • Diagnostic test results. CT scans, X-rays, MRIs, and other diagnostic tests can prove the extend and nature of the injury or illness.
  • Expert testimony. In some cases, expert testimony from medical professionals (physicians, rehabilitation specialists) can support your claim for benefits.
  • Medical bills. The cost of medical treatment and rehabilitation services can demonstrate the extent of medical expenses you incurred after your work-related injury or illness and support your claim for fair compensation.
  • Medical records. Physician notes, test results, and treatment plans support your claim of being injured on the job. They also can rule out pre-existing conditions employers sometimes try to use to deny your claim.
  • Vocational rehabilitation assessments. If you’re unable to return to your previous job because of work-related injuries, a vocational rehabilitation assessment determines your ability to perform alternative job duties.

Independent medical examinations – when ordered by your employer’s insurance carrier – also can be used to support your worker’s compensation claim if the findings match those of your medical provider.

How is medical evidence used in worker’s compensation cases?

Medical evidence determines the extent of your injury or illness and dictates the appropriate level of benefits you should be awarded under New Mexico’s worker’s compensation system. Medical evidence also is used to assess your ability to return to work and whether any vocational rehabilitation is needed.

As a rule, the primary purpose of medical evidence is to support your claim and ensure you receive the worker’s compensation benefits to which you’re entitled.

Boost your worker’s compensation claim success

Given the importance of medical evidence in worker’s compensation claims, it’s crucial that employees seek prompt medical attention after a work-related injury or illness. Working closely with an experienced workplace accident attorney ensures you receive the full benefits to which you’re entitled.

Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.

Avoid These Common Worker’s Compensation Claim Mistakes

Employees expect a safe and secure workplace. However, no matter how careful you are on the job, or the provisions your employer has in place, workplace accidents can happen to anyone at any time.

If you’re injured on the job, you may be eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. There are common mistakes that can derail your claim and limit your compensation.

In this article, we outline the 5 most common worker’s compensation claim mistakes and how a workplace accident attorney can help you avoid them.

1 – Failure to report the injury on time

One of the most common mistakes workers make is failing to report an on-the-job injury to their employer promptly. Taking too long to inform your employer about a workplace accident can risk losimg your right to claim worker’s compensation benefits.

All workplaces are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to follow pre-determined standards for creating a safe workplace environment. OSHA guidelines also dictate employers must have a protocol in place for reporting and handling workplace injuries.

New Mexico Worker’s Compensation Guidelines

New Mexico statutes require your to report a work-related injury or illness to your employer within 15 days of an accident or when the injury or illness is first discovered. If you fail to meet these deadlines, you risk a denial of your worker’s compensation claim.

The New Mexico statute of limitations for filing a worker’s compensation claim with a workplace accident attorney is one year and 30 days to the date of the accident.

A doctor reviews a brain MRI. A workplace accident attorney can make sure you get medical documentation of your injuries.
Getting medical documentation like MRIs can help a workplace accident attorney support a worker’s compensation claim.

2 – Lack of medical documentation

Medical documentation is one of the most effective ways you can support your worker’s compensation claim. Many workers make the mistake of not immediately seeking medical attention after their injuries. Without the proper documentation, you may face challenges proving your injury happened at work.

A workplace accident attorney uses medical documentation to prove your case should you end up pursuing a legal claim against your employer.

Types of Medical Documentation

Medical documentation is crucial evidence to support your workplace injury claim. Some of the types of medical documentation you may need include:

  • Doctor’s notes about your condition, treatment plan, and any restrictions or limitations placed on you in the workplace.
  • Imaging reports such as CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays that provide evidence of the injury and validate the severity.
  • Medical reports are one of the most effective types of medical documentation to support your worker’s compensation claim. They should include the nature and extent of your injuries, any treatment you received, and an estimated recovery period.
  • Prescription records detail any medications your doctor prescribed for pain management or other treatment of your injuries.
  • Rehabilitation reports outline any physical therapy or other rehabilitative services a doctor recommended as part of your recovery.

3 – Not following doctor’s orders

After suffering a workplace injury, it’s important to follow your doctor’s orders. If you neglect a recommendation to attend physical therapy or take a certain medication during your recovery, an employer can use that to deny your worker’s compensation claim.

For instance, let’s say you slipped and fell on a wet surface that wasn’t clearly marked at work. You’re suffering from lingering low back pain and headaches. As part of your treatment, your doctor recommends attending physical therapy to regain mobility in your lower back and for pain relief.

If you decide you don’t want to attend physical therapy, your employer could use that information to assert your injuries weren’t severe. You may be denied fair compensation if you decide to file a claim later.

A man wearing an orange vest and hard hat directs the placement of a large piece of equipment in a factory. A workplace accident attorney can help you decide when to return to work after an injury.
Returning to work too soon after your injury can aggravate your condition and be used to deny worker’s compensation benefits.

4 – Returning to work too soon

Another common mistake workers make is returning to work too soon after their injury. Maybe they worry about the loss of income if they stay off-the-job too long. Some may think they feel well enough to go back to work.

Whatever the reason, if you return to work before you’re fully healed, you can aggravate existing injuries and jeopardize your right to worker’s compensation benefits.

Here are some warning signs it may be too soon to return to work after an injury:

  • You’re still experiencing pain or discomfort.
  • You’re feeling tired or fatigued.
  • You’re still taking pain medication regularly.
  • You’re still being medically treated for your injuries.
  • You’re struggling with limited mobility.
  • You’re not cleared by your doctor.

5 – Not seeking legal representation

When you get hurt on the job, the last thing on your mind is suing your employer. Most workers focus on getting care for their injuries. However, a workplace accident attorney can help you navigate the complex legal system to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

Even if you don’t think you might file a legal claim against your employer, a worker’s compensation lawyer can guide you through the process of filing a claim and documenting your injuries in case you change your mind later.

Avoid common worker’s compensation mistakes

Filing a worker’s compensation claim is complicated. You can avoid these 5 mistakes by seeking the help of a workplace accident attorney. They can make sure you report your injury promptly, seek medical attention, follow your doctor’s orders, and take the necessary time off work to heal.

Should you need to pursue additional legal action to protect your rights to fair compensation, they can prepare a solid case to ensure you receive fair compensation.

7 Ways Insurance Companies Interfere with Personal Injury Lawsuits

Insurance companies interfere with personal injury lawsuits frequently. Dealing with them can further complicate the already complex process of filing a personal injury lawsuit in New Mexico. Unfortunately, insurance companies are not on the side of the victim in most personal injury cases. Their priority is to protect their bottom line, paying out as little as possible in damages.

In some extreme instances, insurance companies can interfere with resolution of a personal injury case if they feel the outcome isn’t in their best interest. In this blog, we discuss 7 ways insurance companies interfere with personal injury lawsuits and how personal injury attorneys can help.

1 – Conducting Surveillance

Insurance companies can – and do – hire private investigators to dig up any dirt they can find on the victims of a personal injury lawsuit. They can look for information that discredits the claim. Victims might be followed and photographed, or video recorded in public places.

Private detectives also might seek out witnesses and interview them in the hopes of finding an eyewitness account to discredit a personal injury claim.

Although they’re working for the defendants in the case, private investigators still must follow a code of conduct established under New Mexico statutes. If a private investigator is harassing you or engaging in other unethical behavior, you can report them to the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department.

2 – Denying or Delaying Claims

Another way insurance companies interfere with personal injury lawsuits is by denying or delaying claims. It’s a common tactic that’s intended to frustrate the victims, ultimately pressuring them into settling for less than their case is worth.

Insurance adjusters can dispute the severity of your injuries, who is at fault for the accident, and the amount in damages claimed as reasons for the hold up.

If someone else’s negligent behavior caused you serious harm, you have a right to fair compensation. Never talk to an insurance company for the at-fault party before consulting an attorney that specializes in personal injury lawsuits.

An arbitration agreement document with a judge's gavel sitting on top of it. Insurance companies try to force arbitration to settle personal injury lawsuits outside the courts.
Insurance companies can interfere with your personal injury lawsuit by trying to force arbitration.

3 – Enacting Arbitration Clauses

Some insurance companies include arbitration clauses in their policies that require binding arbitration for settling disputes. They may try to apply these clauses as a means of delaying a personal injury claim against one of their policyholders.

However, if you’re not the policyholder, you can’t be forced into arbitration instead of taking your complaint to court. Third-party insurance claims aren’t subject to arbitration clauses, so if an insurance company tries to use this as justification for denying or delaying a claim, contact a personal injury attorney right away.

4 – Hiring Defense Attorneys

Victims aren’t the only ones who hire attorneys to protect their rights. Sometimes insurance companies hire defense attorneys that specialize in representing defendants of personal injury cases. These attorneys can request depositions and subpoenas, or file motions to challenge your case.

Even if none of these defensive moves ultimately succeed, the goal is to delay a settlement or court judgment on the claim. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to prevent insurance companies from using this delay tactic. Just make sure you have legal representation to protect your rights.

5 – Offering Lowball Settlements

One of the reasons most personal injury lawyers tell victims to never talk to the at-fault party’s insurance company is to protect them from lowball settlements. Insurance companies try to convince you to take less than an amount that fully compensates you for your injuries and losses because it’s what’s best for them.

Sometimes if you refuse a proposed settlement, insurance companies may try to pressure you to change your mind by saying it’s a one-time offer. They may threaten that you can take it or leave it, but you won’t get another offer later if you refuse it.

Accepting a lowball offer is tempting, but don’t fall for this trick. You can end up with unpaid medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses that cause you financial hardship.

A woman in a medical gown sits on an exam table waiting for a doctor. Insurance companies can request medical exams to delay or deny personal injury lawsuits.
Defense attorneys for the at-fault party’s insurance company might request a medical examination with a doctor of their choosing.

6 – Requesting Medical Examinations

Insurance companies can request that victims undergo a medical exam by a doctor of their choosing. Even if you’ve already had medical treatment for your injuries by your primary care doctor or in an emergency room, they can still request their own evaluation.

What they’re trying to do is create reasonable doubt that the at-fault party caused your injuries, or that your injuries aren’t as severe as you’re claiming. Their medical examiner might look for a pre-existing condition they can blame on your injuries, or dispute that your injuries were caused by the accident.

7 – Using Social Media Against Victims

Insurance companies might monitor your social media accounts looking for information they can use to challenge your personal injury lawsuit. For instance, they might try to use photos they find of you engaging in certain activities that are inconsistent with your injury claims.

Even if you think your social media is set to private, insurance companies can gain access to your accounts by requesting it from the courts.

Protect Yourself from Insurance Company Interference

Protect yourself from insurance company interference by working with an experienced personal injury attorney who can protect your best interests. Schedule your free case evaluation today by calling 505-218-7844 or contacting us online.

Understanding Your Right to a Fair Trial

Understanding your right to a fair trial is an important civil liberty. Part of the Bill of Rights, the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution details your rights within the criminal justice system.

Sixth Amendment rights are designed to protect you if you’re accused of crimes. Among the safeguards outlined in the Sixth Amendment include the right to a speedy and public trial, the right to an impartial jury of your peers, and the right to confront witnesses against you in a court of law.

In this blog we’ll discuss:

Right to a fair trial is in the Bill of Rights, shown here with an Eagle and a gavel superimposed over them.
The Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments of the U.S. Constitution. The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to a fair trial.

What is the Bill of Rights?

The Bill of Rights consists of the first 10 amendments of the U.S. Constitution. It was added to the Constitution in 1791 to outline individual rights. Considered a cornerstone of American law, it is widely regarded as one of the most important documents in the history of U.S. democracy.

Many Americans are familiar with the First and Second Amendments, which deal with freedom of speech and the right to bear arms. Others know all about the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure.

These amendments are more well-known because they get frequent exposure in the media. However, the Bill of Rights as a whole is designed to protect you from abuse of power by the government. They ensure all citizens are treated equally under the law.

What is the Sixth Amendment?

If you’ve ever watched a police procedural on television, chances are, you’ve heard reference to the right to a fair trial. You can find this guarantee in the Bill of Rights under the Sixth Amendment. An essential part of protecting the rights of all Americans, the Sixth Amendment is a critical part of the criminal justice process.

Under it, Americans are promised:

  • The right to a fair and speedy trial.
  • The right to an impartial jury of their peers.
  • The right to be informed of the charges against them.
  • The right to confront witnesses against them in court.
  • The right to an attorney.
A man wearing an orange prison jumpsuit is escorted by an officer of the court as part of a fair trial.
The right to a fair trial is part of your civil liberties under the Sixth Amendment.

How does the Sixth Amendment protect your rights?

American citizens can find several key protections for navigating the criminal justice system within the Sixth Amendment. Receiving a fair and just trial is among them.  There are 5 rights outlined in this amendment.

Let’s break down the 5 basic rights under the Sixth Amendment to learn how they protect you.

  1. You have the right to a speedy and public trial
    Criminal cases must be heard in a court of law in a timely manner. On average, it can take 256 days for a felony case and 193 days for a misdemeanor charge for a criminal case to come before the court.

    Attorneys for the accused can request bail for their clients. If granted, posting bail allows secures your release from jail while awaiting your court date. In some cases—like first-degree murder—you may be denied bail. If you’re a flight risk, a judge also can refuse to grant bail. In these instances, you’ll remain incarcerated until your trial.

  2. You have the right to an impartial jury
    Any jury trials for criminal proceedings must consist of peers without bias against the accused. Additionally, jurors must represent a cross-section of the community, which helps protect against partiality.

    New Mexico courts randomly select names from voter registration lists to serve as potential jurors for criminal cases. Attorneys for the prosecution and defense—plus the presiding judge—ask potential jurors questions to determine their suitability to serve.

  3. You have the right to be informed of the charges against you
    One of the most important rights under the Sixth Amendment is knowing the charges against you. Without that information, you can’t properly prepare or defend yourself in a court of law.

    In New Mexico, suspects are formally charged during an arraignment, during which time all charges against them are presented. Before that, you receive an official complaint—usually within 72 hours of an arrest—detailing pending charges and your rights.

  4. You have the right to confront witnesses in a court of law
    During criminal proceedings, the prosecution may present witnesses to corroborate the charges against you. They may testify before the court about something they personally witnessed. Sometimes the witnesses are victims of a crime who have agreed to testify against the accused.

    The Sixth Amendment gives your criminal defense attorney the right to cross-examine witnesses against you in court. Your attorney can go so far as to challenge a witness’s testimony by providing evidence that contradicts what they’re claiming.

  5. You have the right to representation from an attorney
    If you’re arrested and charged with a crime, the Sixth Amendment ensures you have an attorney to represent you. Including this basic right within the amendment guarantees you can properly defend yourself against charges.

    In the U.S., if you can’t afford an attorney, one is appointed to you through the courts. These lawyers are called public defenders.
Scales of justice balanced by a blindfolded lady to demonstrate the right to a fair trial.
The scales of justice are meant to move swiftly and fairly in the U.S. The Sixth Amendment helps protect these rights to a fair trial.

What should you do if your Sixth Amendment rights are violated?

If you believe your Sixth Amendment rights were violated, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and hold the government accountable.

The most important thing you can do is contact a civil rights attorney. Criminal defense attorneys can help you defend yourself against charges, but they generally aren’t equipped to handle civil rights violation cases.

Once you have a civil rights attorney, they may recommend the following steps:

  • Appeal your criminal case to a higher court and use evidence of a violation of your rights in the lower courts.
  • File a complaint with the court or state bar association against a legal professional if you believe they violated your Sixth Amendment rights.
  • Report police misconduct if you believe your rights were violated during your arrest or other handling by the police. You can report misconduct to the internal affairs division of the police department handling your case, or take it to a state or federal law enforcement agency.

Protect your civil liberties

It’s important to act quickly if you think your Sixth Amendment rights were violated. In New Mexico, victims of civil rights violations have 3 years to file before the statute of limitations runs out.

Cameron & Russell have attorneys on staff experienced in both criminal defense and civil rights. Schedule a free case evaluation today to discover how we can help pursue your civil rights case.

10 Most Common Airbag Injuries

Airbag injuries can happen any time you’re involved in an automobile accident. These safety features are meant to save lives, but sometimes they can cause debilitating injuries—even death—if they malfunction.

Front airbags have been required in all new passenger vehicles since 1999, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Side airbags aren’t mandated, but most vehicle manufacturers include them as part of the standard design.

Victims of airbag injuries have rights to fair compensation under personal injury laws in New Mexico. In this guide we’ll discuss:

How do airbags work?

Airbags work by providing cushioning and protection in the event of a collision. When a collision occurs, the airbag is deployed and instantly begins to fill with air. If it’s functioning properly, the airbag quickly deflates, providing cushioning for the front occupants of the vehicle.

Sensors tell the airbags when to deploy. These sensors are located throughout your vehicle. They constantly monitor the speed and force of the vehicle. When a collision happens, the sensors send a signal to the airbag control unit, triggering the airbags to release.  

Airbags are sophisticated, but that doesn’t mean they still can’t cause injuries.

airbag injuries benefits
Airbags have been required for drivers and front passengers since 1999.

What are the benefits of airbags?

Airbags have been around since the 1970s. Over the years, their design and performance have improved, making them a valuable safety feature. Most automobile insurance companies provide significant discounts on coverage if your vehicle has front and side airbags.

One of the biggest features of airbags is their ability to reduce your chances of hitting your head or upper body on the vehicle’s interior—including the steering wheel—during a crash. Air bags are designed to complement seatbelts, so make sure you’re using both to lessen your chances of injury during a car accident.

Besides preventing drivers and front-seat passengers from hitting their heads and upper bodies on the vehicle’s interior, there are other benefits. They include:

  • Airbags prevent you from being thrown out of the vehicle during a crash.
  • Airbags decrease the amount of force impacting your head by limiting the distance it can move forward.
  • Airbags increase the cushioning around your head, neck, and spine.
An Xray of a skull showing a traumatic brain injury, one of the most common airbag injuries.
One of the most common airbag injuries is traumatic brain injury from the impact of the airbag against your head.

What are the 10 most common airbag injuries?

Airbags are designed to save lives, but that doesn’t mean they always work as intended. Recalls for this safety feature have happened numerous times in recent years. One of the biggest airbag recalls involved the Takata PSAN model, which were installed in 34 brands of vehicles made by 19 different automakers and sold in the U.S.

Malfunctioning airbags aren’t the only reason a driver or passenger can get hurt. Even when they work properly, airbags still have the potential of causing injury. Here are 10 of the most common airbag injuries.

  1. Asthma attacks
    Asthma attacks and other respiratory issues aren’t uncommon when airbags release. That’s because airbags are filled with gasses that can trigger breathing difficulties, especially in those with pre-existing conditions.
  2. Burns
    Your arms, chest, face, and hands can get fabric “burn” as the airbag deploys and brushes hard against your skin.
  3. Chest injuries
    The impact of a deploying airbag can cause blunt force trauma injuries to your chest. If you have a heart defect or other cardiac condition, the impact can sometimes trigger it. The closer you sit to your steering wheel, the more likely you are to suffer from chest injuries.
  4. Ear trauma
    Hearing loss—temporary and permanent—can happen when an airbag releases. Air bags pack an acoustic pressure of 170dBs, which can produce harmful inner ear damage, according to the JAMA Network.
  5. Eye injuries
    You can experience eye injuries from airbags in one of two ways. The chemicals packed inside can get into your eyes during deployment, or they can succumb to the pressure of the airbag deployment.
  6. Facial injuries
    Bruises, fractures, and lacerations to the face aren’t uncommon during airbag deployment. You also might experience chemical burns to your face from the combination of nitrogen and carbon dioxide, which combine to form sodium hydroxide. If it penetrates your skin, it also can cause deep-tissue injuries.
  7. Fetal injuries
    Pregnant persons face a unique challenge when airbags are released. The brunt of the impact can hit their enlarged bellies, causing injury to the developing fetus. Safety experts recommend following the 10-inch rule if you’re pregnant and riding in a vehicle with airbags. Stay back from the area of deployment by at least 10 inches.
  8. Fractures
    The force of an airbag deploying can fracture your ribs, skull, and wrist bones. It can be difficult to prevent these kinds of injuries for drivers because these areas of their body are close to the steering wheel, where the airbag is stored.
  9. Internal bleeding
    Internal bleeding is always an issue following a car accident, whether your airbags deployed or not. Pressure from seatbelts also can lead to internal bleeds that may not be immediately apparent. This type of injury is most likely if your internal organs were impacted by the airbag. It’s always a good idea to get evaluated by a medical professional if you’re in a crash where the airbags were released.
  10. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
    Airbags are designed to prevent TBIs by preventing your head from slamming against the steering wheel or dashboard of your vehicle. That doesn’t mean they’re foolproof. If your head rebounds forcefully from the impact with the airbag, you still might suffer a TBI.
Photo of the dash of a car on the passenger side where the airbag is stored. The words airbag appear. Airbag injuries can happen during deployment.
Airbag injuries can happen when airbags malfunction and even if they deploy properly.

How do you prevent airbag injuries?

There are steps you can take to protect yourself from airbag injuries. Making sure you’re properly seated in your vehicle is the most effective safeguard. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends drivers and front-seat passengers sit at least 10 inches away from airbags.

Pay attention to recalls on your vehicle. You can check for recalls using online tools that take your vehicle identification number or license plate number and run it against a list of known recalls.  

Get help for airbag injuries

Proving an airbag injury is an important part of filing a personal injury lawsuit. That’s why it’s important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in Albuquerque as soon as possible after an accident.

Even if you’re at fault for an accident that caused your airbag injuries, you still have legal recourse. Don’t wait until an insurance company denies your claim before reaching out to a personal injury attorney to discuss your rights.

Schedule your free case evaluation by calling 505-218-7844 or requesting an appointment online.

5 Reasons New Mexico Insurance Companies Deny Claims

New Mexico insurance companies deny claims for many reasons. Even when the accident wasn’t your fault, you may find yourself locked in a battle with your insurance company—or that of the at-fault driver—to get fair compensation for your injuries and damage to your vehicle.

Insurance companies protect their bottom lines. They go above and beyond to find ways to limit or outright deny injury and damage claims.

Accident victims need someone in their corner who knows all the tricks insurance companies deploy and can offer effective strategies to counter them.

In this blog, we’ll discuss 5 of the most common reasons New Mexico insurance companies deny claims and how an experienced personal injury lawyer in Albuquerque can help you get around them.

Reason #1 – You didn’t report any pain or injuries at the crash site

Insurance companies fall back on this excuse a lot because they often get away with using it as justification to deny claims. They may refer to an official police report to substantiate their refusal.

We advise auto accident victims to always seek medical treatment after an accident, even if they aren’t sure they are injured or experiencing any immediate discomfort. If an ambulance is at the scene, ask to be evaluated on site and transported to the nearest emergency room for further evaluation.

It’s not uncommon for auto accident victims to sustain injuries that don’t fully surface until days after the crash. Some injuries that can take time to produce symptoms include:

  • Concussions. It can be hours, days, or even weeks before you start to experience the tell-tale signs of a concussion—concentration problems, dizziness, headaches, nausea, vision problems.
  • Internal bleeding. Sometimes called “seatbelt syndrome,” internal bleeding can take up to 3 days to rear its ugly head after an auto accident.
  • Neck and back injuries. It can take days or weeks for you to notice symptoms of back or neck injuries like herniated discs or muscle strains and sprains.
  • Whiplash. Symptoms of this common neck injury from auto accidents can take days or weeks to surface after the crash.
New Mexico Insurance companies deny claims police report
Calling police to the scene of an accident ensures a police report is filed that can be used to prove your claim.

Reason #2 – You didn’t call the police after the accident

Documentation is important for backing up personal injury claims. Failure to call the police to the scene of an accident signals to insurance companies that it wasn’t serious enough to warrant an investigation.

Even if you’ve just had a fender-bender and your car can be driven from the scene, we recommend calling the police to report the crash. The official police report can establish responsibility for the crash, list any witnesses, and denote any injuries or pain you’re feeling. You can use it later as evidence if you must file a personal injury claim.

While it’s important to call the police, the absence of their presence at an accident scene doesn’t justify an insurance claim denial. If you receive treatment for any injuries, you can use those medical records to support your claim.

Reason #3 – You were the only one injured in the accident

This sounds like a lame excuse because it is. Yet, insurance companies often try to use it to deny claims. Depending on the point and velocity of the impact, it’s quite possible that not everyone in a vehicle gets hurt during a crash.

For instance, if a car runs a red light and collides with the driver’s side of your vehicle, the impact can cause the airbags on your side to deploy but not the ones on the passenger side. The force of an airbag deploying can damage your eyes, jaw, and nose. In some cases, it might even break ribs or cause blunt-force trauma injuries depending on how close you were to the steering wheel at the time of deployment.

New Mexico Insurance companies deny claims injuries
Don’t let an insurance company claim your injuries weren’t caused by the accident. Get documentation from a trusted physician.

Reason #4 – Your injuries couldn’t have been caused by the accident

It’s never a good thing when insurance adjusters play the role of a medical professional. This excuse for denying a claim comes into play when accident victims suffer a unique injury. Insurance companies may try to argue it couldn’t possibly have been caused by the auto accident and refuse to cover the costs of treatment and any ongoing pain and suffering.

Receiving a medical evaluation and treatment for your injuries as soon after the accident as possible can help counter this reason for a denial of your claim. Courts recognize that medical professionals are the experts. If a doctor documents your injury as caused by the automobile accident, you have a strong case for a personal injury claim that sticks.

Reason #5 – You were partially at fault for the accident

Let’s say you were driving a little too fast and failed to see a stop sign as you rounded a bend in an unfamiliar roadway. Your quick stopping action (to avoid running the stop sign) causes the car behind you to rear-end your vehicle.

Insurance companies might try to assert that your partial responsibility for the accident negates your right to file a claim for your injuries and damages to your vehicle. An experienced personal injury attorney in New Mexico can counter this argument to ensure you receive fair compensation.

Your actions do not change the fact the driver behind you didn’t have control of their vehicle and failed to stop. They may have been following your vehicle too closely to have enough time to react. This information can be used to fight the insurance company’s initial denial.

Don’t take no for an answer

Don’t back down when an insurance company denies your initial claim for coverage. You have rights under New Mexico personal injury laws. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can fight to receive fair compensation for you.

Never agree to any settlements or sign an acknowledgement of claim denial without first consulting with an attorney from our team. Reach out today to schedule your free case evaluation.

Sources

  1. Herniated disk. mayoclinic.org. Accessed January 4, 2023.
  2. Injuries associated with airbag deployment. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed January 4, 2023.
  3. Seat belt syndrome: Delayed or missed intestinal injuries, a case report and review of literature. sciencedirect.com. Accessed January 4, 2023.
  4. Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion. cdc.gov. Accessed January 4, 2023.
  5. Whiplash Injury. hopkinsmedicine.org. Accessed January 4, 2023.

Nothing Says Merry Christmas Like a Lawsuit

Holiday shopping? Check.

Buying all the ingredients for a holiday feast? Check.

Inviting friends and family over to celebrate? Check.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer? Say what, now?

The holiday season traditionally is a time for giving gifts, eating too much, and spending plenty of time with your loved ones. Sometimes, though, holidays can bring out the grinch in people. Encountering one of these individuals can bring the wrong kind of gifts to your holiday celebration – lawsuits.

Other times, you may find yourself injured because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence during the holidays. In that case, you may need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible parties.

Here are some of the most common lawsuits filed during the holiday season and what you can do if you find yourself needing the services of an Albuquerque personal injury attorney this holiday season.

Christmas lawsuit car accident
Car crashes are one of the biggest contributors to holiday personal injury lawsuits.

Automobile accidents

AAA expects roughly 102 million Americans to drive to their holiday destinations this year. Your chances of getting into an automobile accident increase when there are more drivers on the roadways. Albuquerque is known for having some of the most dangerous roadways in the country. Whether you’re traveling 2 miles down the road to get that jar of gravy you forgot for your meal, or you’re driving 40 miles to grandma’s house, all it takes is one reckless driver to ruin your holiday.

If you become the victim of careless driving, protecting your rights is critical. Never agree to talk to insurance companies or attorneys for the at-fault party without first consulting an Albuquerque personal injury lawyer. Saying or doing the wrong thing can mean the difference between receiving fair compensation for your injuries and getting cheated by insurance and legal representatives protecting their client’s bottom line.

Christmas lawsuit office parties
Office parties can end in personal injury lawsuits, especially when alcohol is involved.

Holiday party injuries

‘Tis the season for holiday parties. Company parties can be lawsuits waiting to happen under certain conditions. Providing an open bar for employees is one of them.

Drunk individuals make poor choices that can include getting behind the wheel. If you serve alcohol as part of your holiday festivities at the office, do so knowing you’re liable if someone overindulges and causes a serious accident later while driving drunk.

Holiday party injuries don’t have to be limited to someone making the decision to drive drunk. People who have had too much alcohol become uncoordinated. It becomes more difficult for them to think and move at the same time. They may end up falling and getting seriously injured or causing injury to another party-goer. Again, your company may be liable for a personal injury lawsuit in these situations.

Eliminating or restricting alcohol at company parties is a smart move to protect yourself from personal injury lawsuits in Albuquerque.

Christmas lawsuit slips and falls
Slips and falls can ruin any holiday celebration and lead to holiday lawsuits.

Slips and falls

Slips and falls are other common injuries during the holidays. They can happen if the weather turns cold and a property owner fails to properly treat their sidewalks and driveway. Guests also can get hurt by tripping hazards in your home or business, including holiday decorations, cords for outdoor lights, and even toys opened and left lying around.

You can protect your home or business from personal injury lawsuits by ensuring all public areas are hazard-free. Keep outdoor areas safe by shoveling and salting (if necessary).

Unfortunately, this time of year can bring out scammers looking to cash in on slip-and-fall personal injury lawsuits. If you think you’re the victim of such a scam, it’s important to reach out to an Albuquerque personal injury lawyer who can assess the situation and help you determine the best steps to protect yourself.

Rely on experienced personal injury lawyers

If you’re the victim of someone else’s negligence this holiday season, you have recourse. Contacting an experienced personal injury attorney in Albuquerque is the first step you should take to protect your rights.

Bill Russell knows the ins and outs of personal injury law in Albuquerque. He can evaluate your case and make suggestions for the most effective strategy for receiving fair compensation. Reach out today to schedule your free consultation.

Hurt During the Holidays? We Can Help.

Holidays are supposed to be filled with good tidings for comfort and joy. Sometimes, though, they can be filled with trips to the emergency room for treatment from holiday injuries. No one likes to think about getting hurt during the holidays, but it can happen when people engage in careless or negligent behavior.

Instead of spending time with family and friends, you can find yourself the victim in a personal injury claim. Holiday activities like decorating the exterior of your house and enjoying a family ski trip come with the risk of accidents and injuries.

Learn about some of the most common causes of personal injuries during the holidays, and what you can do to secure fair compensation if you fall victim this holiday season.

Common personal injury #1 – burns

Holidays mean spending time with family and friends. Most of the time, these get-togethers involve food. Burns from cooking accidents are one of the most common personal injuries during the holidays. Whether you’re deep-frying a turkey or retrieving roasted chestnuts from an open fire, the potential for serious burns exists.

It’s not always the host who ends up getting burned. If you’re a guest at someone’s home and you suffer burns because of improperly maintained firepits or fireplaces, you have a right to seek fair compensation for your injuries.

Hanging holiday lights without help can land you in the emergency room.

Common personal injury #2 – falls (and slips)

‘Tis the season for slips and falls. Sometimes these kinds of holiday accidents are because of your own carelessness. Maybe you climbed up a ladder to hang Christmas lights without someone there to help you and suffered a fall. It happens.

However, there are times when you can get seriously hurt on someone else’s property because they failed to properly maintain it during icy and snowy conditions. Icy driveways, sidewalks, and other walkways lead to roughly 3 million slip and fall injuries each year. You have rights if your holiday get-together is ruined because of your host’s poorly-maintained property.

Common personal injury #3 – respiratory injuries

Wintertime is a popular time for indoor fires. Who doesn’t enjoy sitting by a warm fire – natural wood or natural gas – while sipping a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows and snacking on some holiday cookies?

That picturesque holiday scene quickly can turn into a respiratory injury if the fireplace is improperly configured or otherwise malfunctioning. Carbon monoxide inhalation causes more than 50,000 visits to the emergency room each year in the U.S. If you end up listed among the statistics, follow up with a personal injury lawyer to discuss your rights.

Car crashes are among the most common ways people get hurt during the holidays.

Common personal injury #4 – traffic accidents

Families travel during the holidays. Whether that’s just down the road to grandma’s house, or three states away for a holiday ski trip with your immediate loved ones, chances are you’ll be among the 109 million Americans traveling this holiday season.

All it takes is one careless driver to cause life-threatening injuries. You or your loved ones can suffer temporary or permanent disability – even death – if you encounter the wrong drivers during your holiday travels.

Car accident victims have a right to file personal injury claims in New Mexico. You have up to three years from the date of the accident to pursue fair compensation for your injuries.

Common personal injury #5 – winter sports accidents

Skating, skiing, sledding, snowboarding, and snowmobiling are just a few of the winter sports people enjoy together during the holidays. It can be easy to get injured doing any of these activities if you end up the unsuspecting recipient of faulty equipment.

If you end up hurt because of third-party negligence, you should speak with a personal injury attorney right away. They can help you secure fair compensation for your injuries.

Seek help for holiday personal injury claims

When you’re injured through no fault of your own during the holidays, it’s important to protect your rights. You’re not required to speak with attorneys or insurance companies representing the at-fault party. Never agree to a settlement without first consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Bill Russell vigorously defends the rights of personal injury victims in Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico. Schedule a free case evaluation with him to review your personal injury case today.  

5 Tips for Safe Thanksgiving Travel

If you’re among the nearly 55 million Americans hitting the road this Thanksgiving holiday, you’re going to experience some crowded roadways. Taking a road trip of more than 50 miles always comes with challenges. Preserving your safety (and that of your passengers) is priority number one.

America’s roadways become more dangerous every year. Americans have a 1 in 63 chance of getting into a car accident.

There are things you can do to minimize the risk. Following these 5 tips for safe Thanksgiving travel can get you to your destination so you can enjoy the holiday with your family and friends.

Eating while behind the wheel can cause you to have a serious accident.

#1 – Avoid distracted driving

Distracted driving contributes to 9 percent of all fatal automobile accidents in the U.S. Another 15 percent of distracted driving crashes cause significant injuries. From eating while driving to talking or texting on your cell phone, turning your attention away from your driving for even a few seconds can have disastrous results.

The longer your travel time before arriving at your destination, the more tempted you can be to multitask behind the wheel. However, it’s not worth the risk to your safety and of others on the roadways.

If you must use your cell phone, pull off the road in a safe place. Never try to eat while driving, even if you think it can save you time on the roadway. Even if you order takeout, pull over and take the time to eat it before getting on your way again.

#2 – Don’t speed

Speeding is the number one factor in a third of all fatal accidents each year, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). It can be tempting to drive above the recommended speed limit, especially if you are worried about being late for a family gathering or other holiday event.

It’s better to arrive late than not at all, so resist the temptation to go faster than is safe for the road conditions. At a speed of 60 miles per hour, it takes roughly 140 feet to come to a full stop after hitting the brake. Be sure to follow the speed limit and practice following a safe distance from the vehicle in front of yours.

“Drinksgiving” is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, which is a popular time to drink in the U.S.

#3 – Never drive under the influence

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving has become known as “Blackout Wednesday” – or “Drinksgiving” – because of its popularity for alcohol consumption. Traveling during this period can increase the likelihood of sharing the roadways with drunk drivers.

If you plan to celebrate Wednesday evening, drink responsibly by not getting behind the wheel of your car. Also, never get into a car with someone who is planning to drive after drinking. Make alternative arrangements like hailing a cab or using a ride share service.

Avoid impaired drivers when possible if you encounter them on the roadways. Note the make and model of their vehicle (and license plate if possible) and call 911 to report them so the police can get them off the roadways.

#4 – Practice some patience

No one likes to get stuck in traffic, especially when traveling for the holidays. The likelihood of experiencing heavy traffic and delays on your journey is high during the Thanksgiving holiday. Practicing some patience can help avoid incidents of road rage.

If you encounter another driver experiencing road rage, call 911 immediately. Never try to engage with the person, especially if their anger seems directed toward you.

Take frequent breaks when driving long distances to prevent drowsiness.

#5 – Take frequent breaks

Traveling long distances can make you tired mentally and physically. Taking frequent breaks can help prevent drowsiness behind the wheel, which leads to 100,000 crashes, 71,00 injuries, and 1,500 fatalities each year on U.S. roadways.

If you’re traveling with a passenger of legal driving age, take turns behind the wheel. Never rely on caffeinated beverages to give you the stamina to keep going if you’re becoming tired. Caffeine provides a temporary energy boost but is not a long-term replacement for proper rest.

Protecting your rights in a traffic accident

If you’re the victim of a careless driver during the Thanksgiving holiday, you have rights. It’s important not to make a mistake after an accident that can limit your ability to sue for fair compensation.

Contacting a personal injury lawyer in Albuquerque is one of the first steps you should take to protect your rights after a traffic accident. Never talk to the insurance company for the at-fault driver or agree to any kind of settlement without first speaking to a personal injury attorney.

How to Identify a Civil Rights Violation

We the People. When most residents in the United States hear those words, they immediately think of the preamble to The Constitution of the United States. The opening remarks are powerful for good reason. They proclaim who is adopting the Constitution, why they are adopting it, and what is covered under it.

Looking at it from a legal perspective, those 52 words declare the enactment of the provisions that follow. When those provisions are not followed in this country, it can constitute a civil rights violation.

Knowing your civil rights and whether they’ve been violated can be tricky, especially if you’re an immigrant. In this article, we break down details about your civil rights, how to identify if you’re the victim of a civil rights violation, and where to turn for help.

What are your civil rights?

Before you can know whether your civil rights have been violated, you must understand your rights and how they apply to your daily life. There are 10 categories of civil rights in the U.S. Not every category applies to every person.

civil rights violation police stop
Being stopped by the police can be scary. It also can be a violation of your civil rights in some cases.

Civil rights when stopped by the police

It can be scary to get stopped by the police. Some U.S. residents have reason to feel more terrified than others. Racial bias can play a huge role in traffic stops. The issue has been studied locally and nationally by several organizations, all with similar outcomes.

When you’re stopped by the police in public, you have rights. They include:

  • The right to remain silent (including answering questions about your U.S. citizenship status).
  • The right to refuse a search of yourself or your belongings.
  • The right to a government-appointed attorney if arrested.

Stay calm and never try to resist. State you wish to remain silent and request an attorney if police take you into custody. If your rights are violated, try to get as much information as possible, including the names and badge numbers of the officers and any witness information.

Civil rights for students

In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that student do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech at the schoolhouse gate.” Students have First Amendment rights in school with one caveat: they can’t disrupt the functioning of the school or violate school policies that don’t hinge on the message they are expressing.

Civil rights for students can be a tricky area to navigate. It’s best to consult with a civil rights attorney in Albuquerque if you believe your rights were violated.

civil rights violation protesting
The First Amendment protects your rights to engage in peaceful protest.

Civil rights for protesters

The First Amendment protects your right to assemble and express your views through protesting. Narrow restrictions, such as requiring permits, can be placed by local government officials and the police without infringing on your rights.

When planning to protest, it’s best to choose a traditional public forum like streets, sidewalks, and parks. You also have the right to speak in front of government buildings and other public spaces if you’re not blocking access. You can take photos if in a public space, including of federal buildings and the police.

If you’re arrested for legally protesting, contact a civil rights attorney immediately.

Civil rights protecting religious freedom

Religious freedom is one of the most misunderstood constitutional rights in the U.S. You can face religious discrimination at work, in school, and even in public housing.

Some of your religious freedom rights in these settings include:

  • Prevention from harassment that creates a hostile work, school, or housing environment.
  • Reasonable accommodations for religious practices.

You can reach out to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if your rights have been violated on the job. For other religious freedom issues, contact a civil rights attorney.

Civil rights protecting against sex discrimination, gender identity, sexual orientation

Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prevents employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating based on sex. Some courts also have ruled Title VII bans discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Because the U.S. Supreme Court has not yet taken up this issue, LGBTQ+ people can face murky interpretations of their rights. If you believe you’ve been discriminated against based on your gender identity or sexual orientation, it’s time to consult with a civil rights attorney in Albuquerque.

civil rights violation voting
You have a right to cast your ballot in the U.S. without the fear of voter intimidation.

Civil rights protecting voters

Voters’ rights have been in the forefront since the 2020 election in the U.S. In an increasingly hostile environment, some voters wonder about their rights and how to enforce them. As a legally-registered voter in the U.S., you have the right to:

  • Access disability-related accommodations (including language assistance) at the polls.
  • Complete your vote if you’re still standing in line when the polls officially close.
  • Exercise your voting rights without voter intimidation efforts.

You can call the Election Protection Hotline at 866-687-8683 if you experience issues at your polling place.

Civil rights for prisoners

Prisoners have the right to be protected against discrimination and abuse while incarcerated. Under the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, prison officials have a legal obligation to refrain from using excessive force and protecting prisoners from assault by other prisoners.  

File a grievance if your rights have been violated while in prison. You also can contact a civil rights attorney.

Civil rights protecting race, ethnicity, or national origin

If a company or an individual treats you differently based on your race, ethnicity, or national origin, it’s a civil rights violation in the U.S. Being denied a job or a promotion can be blatant examples of this kind of illegal discrimination. Some other forms – like policies against hiring those with a criminal record – can be more subtle.

In this category, the Constitution:

  • Protects you from housing discrimination, employment discrimination, and denial of service in public places.
  • Prevents the government from treating you differently based on your race, ethnicity, or national origin.

If your rights have been violated, gather as much documentation as you can and consult a civil rights attorney immediately.

civil rights violation disability
Disabled persons have protections under the Constitution and other federal and state laws.

Civil rights for disabled persons

Sadly, people with disabilities in the U.S. face widespread discrimination, exclusion, and segregation. Federal disability rights ensure fairness for disabled persons in housing, the workplace, and other public accommodation situations.

You’re not required to disclose your disability to coworkers or supervisors. Reasonable accommodations must be made on the job and in public for you to access the same services as non-disabled persons.

Filing a complaint with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission is the first step if you’ve experienced civil rights violations in any of these situations. You also can reach out to a civil rights attorney familiar with disability law in New Mexico to further assist.

Civil rights for immigrants

It doesn’t matter what your immigration status is in the U.S. You have guaranteed rights under the U.S. Constitution.

One of the most common issues faced by immigrants – including those legally in the U.S. – is being asked by law enforcement about their citizenship or immigration status. You have a right to remain silent and refuse to discuss your status. You also have the right to refuse consent to a search of your body or your belongings.

If you have immigration status documents, we recommend carrying them with you always. Present them if requested, but only to a U.S. immigration agent.

Contact a civil rights attorney immediately if any of these rights have been violated.

Do only U.S. citizens have civil rights?

Some people are misinformed about who the Constitution covers. They believe you must be a U.S. citizen to enjoy the freedoms and rights outlined within this document. Those assumptions are wrong.

Everyone has basic rights under the U.S. Constitution, including non-citizens. Never let an authority figure try to tell you that you aren’t protected because of your citizenship status.

The U.S. Constitution specifically says under Section 1 Due Process of Law: No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

While U.S. citizens may have some rights not afforded to non-citizens – voting, running for certain government offices – all persons living in the U.S. have equal protection under the law.

What is a civil rights violation?

A civil rights violation happens when force, or the threat of force, is used against you to keep you from exercising any of your rights under the U.S. Constitution.

The U.S. Department of Justice takes seriously all civil rights violations. This federal office protects civil rights through enforcement, education, and coordination. You can file a complaint directly with their offices.

You also have the right to consult with a civil rights attorney in Albuquerque if you want to review the merits of your case before filing.

civil rights violation workplace
Workplace discrimination can be subtle or obvious but it’s always a civil rights violation.

What are some examples of civil rights violations?

Sometimes civil rights violations are blatant, like being physically threatened at your polling place while trying to vote. Others can be more subtle, like being denied a promotion at work based on your gender or race.

Let’s explore two examples of what discrimination can look like at work and in public accommodations.

Example 1: Disability Discrimination

Let’s say you’re a person with a tic disorder. Your disorder causes irregular, repetitive and uncontrollable movements of muscles throughout your body that can happen without warning. You’re enjoying a night out at a restaurant with your friends, when you’re approached by the manager. He explains that he needs to relocate you and your guests to a table in the back of the restaurant because your ticking is upsetting some other patrons.

This can be an uncomfortable situation. It’s also blatant discrimination. In this instance, you have a right to refuse their offer to relocate your table. If they insist or refuse to serve you unless you comply, you have a case for a civil rights violation.

Example 2: Workplace Discrimination

Let’s say you’re a black woman working in a typically male-dominated industry. A supervisory position has just opened within your company, and it’s between you and another employee (who just so happens to be an older white male). You have more experience. He ends up with the promotion.

It’s quite possible this is a case of workplace discrimination based on your gender or your race (or both). Consulting with a civil rights attorney familiar with workplace discrimination laws can help you build a case.

Seeking help with civil rights violations

In addition to the protections afforded to you under the U.S. Constitution, New Mexico also has its own statewide statutes that offer added protection, including the New Mexico Human Rights Act of 1969.

If you believe your civil rights have been violated, reach out to our offices today to schedule a free case evaluation. Our skilled civil rights attorneys can review your case and make recommendations for the best possible outcome.

Call Cameron & Russell for a Free Case Evaluation

Bill Russell and Marcus Cameron are the faces behind Cameron & Russell. We go the extra mile for our clients to pursue personal injury claims and provide criminal defense. We approach every case with a fresh eye to detail and the determination to represent our clients to the fullest extent the law allows. We passionately defend clients facing criminal charges, and relentlessly seek out fair compensation for personal injury claims. No matter your situation, we promise to tirelessly represent your legal needs. 

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