Workers Compensation in New Mexico

You aren’t alone if you wonder how workers comp works. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer is required to carry is governed by New Mexico state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books in the state where the business operates. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation, the insurance carrier should help ease the financial burden the illness or injury created on the worker. Learn some of the basic principles of New Mexico workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.

Workers Compensation Statistics in New Mexico?

Employers in New Mexico reported 18,700 nonfatal workplace incidents according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2019. Out of those thousands of injuries, strains or tears represent the highest number of reports to the Workers’ Compensation Administration. A staggering 22.9% of injury claims in 2017 were due to this type of incident. Moreover, health care professionals or couriers had the highest rate of accidents in the state by a wide margin. It’s also worth considering that New Mexico’s Indicator-Based Information System published data on its website that shows workers’ compensation cost over $300 million. With an average of $404 paid per worker with coverage in the state.

How Does Workers Comp Work in New Mexico?

There is a standard practice to follow when going through the New Mexico workers’ compensation process. Unfortunately, it begins with you getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the injury are especially crucial. The injury had to occur during the course of your regular work duties. It could also occur while you were performing a special task at the request of your boss. 

New Mexico requires any business with three or more employees to have workers’ compensation insurance. Some types of businesses or categories of workers are exempt from this, including but not limited to the following. Household workers, real estate agents, and farm laborers. Beneficiaries receive compensation for medical expenses, out-of-pocket expenses, death benefits, and weekly cash payments. The New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration pays 66% of the last year’s average weekly salary to individuals for up to 700 weeks. Depending on your disability rating. Any rating less than 80% means you receive benefits for up to 500 weeks, while anything above can take the maximum time.

The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in New Mexico are critical for purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.

Get Medical Attention

After you get injured or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay receiving help from a New Mexico healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process.

Even if you believe that your injury is minor, get a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occurred. This is the first step in the workers’ compensation claim process. Absent a medical report, your employer cannot file a claim with the insurance carrier.

When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months before a doctor finally associates your illness with your job. All of your medical records will become the foundation from which the workers’ comp carrier will launch its investigation. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is the result of your work conditions or aggravated by them. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.

File a First Report of Injury

Once you have a medical diagnosis relating your illness or injury to your job, you must file a claim with your employer. This is the next important phase of how New Mexico workers comp works.

New Mexico gives employees injured on the job X years to apply for workers’ compensation. Any attempts to obtain benefits after that time may result in a denial. After seeking medical attention, report the injury to your employer within fifteen days of becoming aware that one occurred. Businesses are responsible for completing the First Report of Injury or Illness form for any work-related injury after an employee misses Y days of work due to an accident. Assuming that your benefits are approved, a X-day waiting period happens before receiving compensation.

New Mexico gives employees one year to apply for workers’ compensation after being injured on the job. After seeking medical attention, report the injury to your employer within fifteen days of the incident by turning in a Notice of Accident form. Don’t allow your employer to intimidate you into not signing or turning this into them. After that is delivered, businesses are responsible for completing the First Report of Injury or Illness form within 10 days of being notified about a work-related injury that resulted in seven or more days of missed shifts.

How A Report Can Help You

The first report of an on the job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events leading up to the injury. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to submit a copy of the doctor’s report  with the report of injury.

Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point about the incident and any possible witnesses to the event. New Mexico has a one week waiting period before beneficiaries can receive payments. If the injuries are severe enough to justify permanent disability benefits, an employee may receive weekly payments for the rest of their life or have their attorney negotiate a settlement.

Why You Should Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

In learning how New Mexico workers comp works, many people believe that the injury claims process is straightforward. While this may be the case in some instances, in others, it may be more of a hassle. For instance, your employer may question whether you were hurt on the clock or on your own time. The company may also start to question the extent of your injury. There may even arise pay disputes and long-term care dictated by the doctor. Don’t question how workers comp works and risk losing your claim. Hire a New Mexico workers’ comp lawyer and ensure you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer in New Mexico

Your health and wellbeing need to come first. If you are hurt while working or find out an illness you are suffering is the result of your job, you will want to seek compensation. Since the workers’ compensation claims process may be tricky, you should consider getting a local attorney well versed in how to deal with it. We can even help you connect with an attorney across New Mexico state lines. They can guide you while you continue to learn how workers comp works.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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