Workers Compensation in Santa Fe, NM

You aren’t alone if you ask “How does workers comp work?” 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 Santa Fe, New Mexico workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.

Workers Compensation Statistics in Santa Fe, New Mexico?

The New Mexico Department of Health reports that the industry with the most reported injuries is transportation and moving. However, the mining industry accounts for the majority of workplace fatalities in New Mexico. Most workplace injuries in Santa Fe are sprains and strains, typically caused by twisting, lifting, or repetitive motion. Falls and contact with objects or equipment also account for a large number of work-related Santa Fe injuries. In total, New Mexico pays over $304 million in workers compensation claims every year.

How Does Workers Comp Work in Santa Fe, New Mexico?

Unfortunately, going through the process of applying for workers’ compensation begins with getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to your problems are especially crucial. For example, the injury had to occur during your regular work duties. While an event that happens during your lunch break wouldn’t apply, getting into a car accident while running an errand for your boss would qualify for a claim. 

Santa Fe employers with 3 or more employees are required to carry workers compensation insurance. All reasonable and necessary medical expenses are covered, but the employer can choose the provider. In addition, lost wages are compensated if your injury causes you to miss work. According to the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration, lost wages are paid at a rate of ⅔ of the average weekly wage. However, the maximum weekly payment is $883, as of 2020. In the event of a fatal injury, weekly death benefits and funeral expenses are also provided.

For example, say your supervisor asked you to drop something off on your lunch break. While running this errand you then get in a car accident on your way to the destination. Any resulting injury is eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if you are on your lunch break, performing no such task when you get in an accident, it does not qualify for a claim.

The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Santa Fe, 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 seeking help from a Santa Fe, 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. Having a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occured is the first step in the process. Your employer cannot file a claim with their insurance carrier without this information.

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. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is either 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

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 bring a copy of the doctor’s report to submit with the report of injury.

Employees in Santa Fe must provide written notice of the injury to their employer within 15 days. The employer then has 72 hours to notify their insurance company. If there are disputes about the claim, the worker can contact the Workers’ Compensation Administration Ombudsman for assistance.

Timeline and Other Information

Once your Santa Fe injury claim is filed, the insurance company has 10 working days to contact you. If your claim is denied, you can contact the Ombudsman to begin a dispute process. If you are temporarily disabled, wage benefits will continue until you are able to return to work, or your condition has stabilized. However, New Mexico statute limits these benefits to 700 weeks. If you are still not able to work, you may be eligible for permanent disability compensation.

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. In the meantime, the workers’ comp insurer may begin paying medical benefits while the investigation into your claim continues.

Why You Should Hire a Santa Fe, New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in others, it may be more difficult. For example, your employer may ask if you suffer an injury on the clock or on your own time. It’s also common for a company to question the full extent of your injury. Hiring a Santa Feworkers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Santa Fe, New Mexico

If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Santa Fe, New Mexico you need to find the right people to help. Since the workers’ compensation claims process can have pitfalls, you should consider getting a local attorney who knows how to avoid them. 

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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