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Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law
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How to File for Workers' Comp Benefits in New Mexico

If you have been hurt in a work-related accident, there is probably a lot on your mind right now. You might be experiencing pain from your injuries, feeling stressed about reporting the accident to your boss, worried about having to take time off work, or a combination of all the above. Whatever is going through your head, we hope to reassure you by clearly laying out the steps you need to take to file for workers’ comp benefits in New Mexico.

How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim

To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, your accident must occur while you are performing your job duties, regardless of whether you are physically at your workplace or not. This means if you were picking up supplies for your boss or making a delivery when your accident happened, you should be eligible. Getting injured while traveling to or from work usually does not allow you to claim benefits, however.

If you have suffered a work-related injury, there are three things you should take care of as soon as possible:

  • Visit a doctor to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan
  • Notify your employer, in writing, within 15 days of the incident
  • Complete a Notice of Accident form and get it signed by your employer

Seek Medical Attention

Going to the doctor following a work accident serves two very important purposes. First and foremost, it is a way to verify your condition and ensure you get the treatment you need. Work accidents can come in all forms, and sometimes serious injuries can be difficult to detect without medical attention. Seeing a doctor right away allows you to make the best recovery possible.

Second, having a doctor’s visit on your medical record verifies that you were actually injured. This way, your employer’s insurance company can’t claim that you faked your injuries. This will allow you to receive the full compensation you deserve.

Notify Your Employer

New Mexico law dictates that you must inform your boss of your injury within 15 days of the accident. In the case of discovering a long-term injury or illness, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or a respiratory problem, you must also notify your employer within 15 days of discovering that ailment.

Send a note to your employee in writing that includes:

  • The date and time the accident occurred
  • How the accident happened
  • What injuries you sustained and/or your symptoms
  • How the injury is affecting your work performance

Be as detailed as possible and make sure you save a copy for yourself.

Complete a Notice of Accident

The Notice of Action form may be given to you by your employer after you notify them of your accident. If they don’t have a copy, you can download one here. Make sure your boss signs it—it is illegal for them not to comply with your claim.

If you would like to learn more about the claims process, the State of New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration has posted a guide to the claims process on their website. You can also reach out to our firm to schedule a free case evaluation.

Do I Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?

Though the workers’ compensation system was designed to protect both workers and their employers and has been streamlined to make the process relatively easy, there are sometimes hurdles associated with the process. From arguing with an employer who contests the fact your accident occurred at work to dealing with bad faith practices from an insurance company, your workers’ compensation claim may be denied for a myriad of reasons. Fortunately, there is an appeals process that will allow you to one last chance at defending your claim.

A workers’ compensation lawyer can both help ensure your claim is done right the first time around and fight for you during a hearing should your claim be denied. So, while you don’t need an attorney to submit a claim, working with one greatly increases your chances of receiving benefits and attaining the maximum compensation possible.

Injured on the job in New Mexico? Contact our Albuquerque workers’ compensation lawyer for a free consultation.