New Mexico Workers’ Compensation FAQ
Questions? Ask Our Albuquerque Workers’ Comp Attorney Today
Workers’ compensation law in New Mexico can be confusing to say the
least. When faced with the myriad of different applicable laws, deadlines,
and loopholes of coverage, if can be difficult to make sense of it all.
Our firm has compiled a brief list of some of the most frequently asked
questions to help answer some of your concerns. If you have any further
questions that are not listed here, we encourage you to
contact our office and we will be happy to provide assistance.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
In simple terms, workers’ compensation is an insurance program financed
by businesses that provides monetary benefits to workers who are injured
on the job or who develop work-related illnesses as a result of their
occupation. Workers’ compensation pays for injured employees’
medical bills and up to two-thirds of their lost wages. In the event that
a worker should pass away due to a work-related illness or injury, workers’
compensation pays death benefits to the deceased worker’s dependents.
What Injuries Are Covered Under Workers’ Comp?
Workers’ compensation covers injuries and illnesses that are directly
caused by a person’s work. A doctor must verify this direct connection
in order for the injury to be covered. Covered injuries oftentimes include
repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, workplace slip-and-falls,
on-the-job car accidents, and illnesses from exposure to dangerous chemicals.
Injuries that occur outside of work that affect a person’s ability
to do their work or injuries caused by horseplay are not covered. Injuries
that are caused by a worker’s intoxication from drugs or alcohol
are unlikely to be covered, though if they are, they will probably be
covered with penalties.
Am I Eligible for Workers’ Comp Benefits?
All employers in New Mexico with three or more employees must have workers’
comp insurance, with a few exceptions. Domestic workers such as housekeepers
and nannies, farmhands and agricultural workers, temporary employees acquired
through temp agencies, and seasonal employees working minimal hours are
usually exempt from workers’ comp benefits. Similarly, independent
contractors are not eligible for workers’ comp.
How Can I Prove My Injury Is Work Related?
To minimize the chances of your employer or their insurance contesting
the cause of your injury, you can strengthen your claim by providing witness
testimonies, doctor’s notes, and prescriptions relevant to your
accident. If this information still does not satisfy their requirement
of proof, an attorney can advocate on your behalf and handle their objections in court.
Can I Collect Workers’ Comp Benefits and Sue My Employer?
Under most circumstances, no. In exchange for being covered under workers’
compensation, you waive your right to sue your employer. You may only
sue your employer for damages if it can be proven that your employer intentionally
tried to harm you. If your injuries were caused by a third party other
than your employer, such as an equipment manufacturer or supplier, you
may collect workers’ compensation benefits and file a claim against
How Soon After My Injury Should I Notify My Employer?
If you have been injured at work, you must notify your employer within
15 days of your accident. Failure to adhere to this deadline could result
in a denial of your claim.
What Should I Do if My Claim Is Denied?
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you may be able to
appeal the denial with the assistance of a trained attorney. While some
claim denials can be reversed relatively quickly if they result from a
clerical error or mistake in paperwork, other appeals may require you
to plead your case before an administrative law judge. An attorney can
advocate on your behalf and greatly improve your chances of a successful appeal.
Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Albuquerque, NM
If you have suffered a work-related injury, the highly-trained
Albuquerque workers’ comp lawyers at Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law can walk you through the process
of filing a claim and handle any disputes that should arise on your behalf.
With more than a decade’s worth of trial-tested legal experience,
we can ensure your rights are protected and maximize your chances of receiving
every penny of your entitled benefits.
Call (505) 219-2176 or discuss your case for free during a
confidential consultation today.