New Mexico’s established labor laws and newer legislation work together to protect workers from workplace negligence that leads to serious injuries or even death.
Employers must comply with NM worker’s compensation guidelines or risk fines from the U.S. and NM Departments of Labor and worker’s compensation lawsuits from injured workers seeking fair compensation.
Protecting yourself from workplace injuries isn’t always possible. That’s why you may need to hire a New Mexico personal injury attorney to represent your best interests.
In this blog, we’ll share some of the most common questions about NM worker’s compensation and how to seek help if you want to file a third-party negligence claim against your employer. You’ll learn:
The worker’s compensation system in New Mexico is designed to provide benefits to workers who suffer from work-related injuries or illnesses. Employers must buy adequate worker’s compensation insurance coverage to provide cash benefits and medical care to workers who get hurt on the job.
Worker’s compensation coverage also provides survivor benefits to family members of workers killed on the job. They must file a claim to receive coverage.
New Mexico’s Worker’s Compensation Administration (WCA) exists to ensure the efficient and timely delivery of benefits to workers or their surviving family members who qualify. However, that doesn’t mean that employers can’t object to worker’s compensation benefits once you file a claim. Sometimes they can deny your claim, forcing you to pursue legal action.
According to New Mexico’s worker’s compensation laws, all employees are covered by benefits if they become injured or ill because of working conditions. The law defines employees as:
The law also outlines who is not considered a covered worker in New Mexico. Some of the exceptions include:
Any injury or illness that happens on the job is covered by NM worker’s compensation benefits. You can get temporary benefits if you have injuries or an illness that prevents you from working during recovery.
Worker’s compensation benefits also include getting the care you need and the funds to pay for it. Generally, if you’re injured or become ill at work, your employer covers the cost of seeing a medical provider and receiving any medications or treatments prescribed for recovery.
Covered injuries and illnesses include:
Workplace fatalities covered under worker’s compensation include what OSHA refers to as “the fatal four.” They are:
Employers can require you to use a medical provider of their choosing for illnesses and injuries. However, you have a right to seek a second opinion if you disagree with a diagnosis or recommended treatment protocol. Consult with NM worker’s compensation attorney if you believe your rights are being violated.
Not all illnesses and injuries suffered at work qualify for coverage under the law. Here are some of the times you can expect your employer to challenge a claim:
NM worker’s compensation provides comprehensive benefits for workers who are injured or become ill on the job. Among the benefits you’re eligible to receive include medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and wage replacement.
Sometimes benefit coverage isn’t adequate to meet your needs. For instance, wage replacement might not equal your full salary, which can cause financial hardship. In those situations, you may need to consult a NM worker’s compensation attorney who can pursue legal action to get you the compensation you deserve.
Work-related fatalities fall under worker’s compensation laws. The amount you receive depends on the employer’s coverage. Some of the benefits you can receive for a loved one’s death on the job include:
Sometimes employers push back against survivor benefits. When that happens, request a free case evaluation with a third-party negligence attorney to review your rights and pursue legal action if necessary.
The key to avoiding complications with NM worker’s compensation claims is to notify your employer as soon as possible about your illness or injury.
Once you notify your employer, they should provide you with the necessary forms, called Notice of Accident (NOA), to complete to request your benefits. NOAs must be filed within 15 days of the date of your illness or injury.
Employers can’t refuse to sign or submit an NOA on your behalf. If they do, seek legal advice immediately. You also can contact the ombudsman program at the NM Worker’s Compensation Administration.
You have the right to appeal the decision if your employer denies your worker’s compensation claim. The New Mexico Worker’s Compensation Administration handles all appeals. You must file it within 15 days of receiving the denial notification.
You may want to consult with an attorney who specializes in worker’s compensation or third-party negligence laws in New Mexico before filing your appeal.
An attorney can file the appeal on your behalf. Sometimes having legal representation on board improves the outcome of your appeal.
Should the administration deny your appeal, you already have an attorney familiar with your case who can immediately file a worker’s compensation lawsuit to seek fair compensation.
Not all worker’s compensation cases end up in a courtroom. A skilled attorney can push for a settlement that’s fair to you and avoids a lengthy trial.
Reach out to Bill Russell and Marcus Cameron for a free case evaluation. We’ll relentlessly seek out fair compensation for worker’s compensation injuries and fatalities.
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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