New Mexico Workers Compensation Lawyer

If you have been injured on the job, you have a right to file for workers' compensation. On-the-job injuries can occur over time in the form of repetitive use injuries, or they can happen all of a sudden, as a result of an accident such as a slip and fall or a machinery malfunction. Your employer should clearly post on your employee information board the instructions that tell you what procedures to follow to file a claim. You may need to hire a workers' compensation attorney to represent you and fight for appropriate medical care and compensation.

Worker's compensation is a type of insurance that provides restitution for medical care for employees that are injured while in the place of employment, in exchange for the forfeit of the employee's right to sue the employer under the umbrella of negligence. Plans fluctuate according to different state court districts, though they can be made for weekly payments instead of wages as a type of disability insurance, compensation for past and future economic losses, the payment or reimbursement of the medical expenses as a type of health insurance, and benefits payable to the depends of workers who were killed as a type of life insurance.

In the mandated job fields, employers purchase insurance to cover worker's compensation claims, which means you are dealing with an insurance company when you file a claim. The insurance companies' sole purpose is to pay as little as possible, if anything, on your claim. For this reason, it's a good idea to consult with and hire a worker's compensation attorney to fight for the lost wages and medical care you deserve.

There are generally three parts to a workers' compensation claim: lost wage recovery, medical treatment and the determination of any permanent loss of function. If your claim is accepted, this process can go somewhat smoothly. If your claim is denied, as many are, you will need to hire a worker's compensation attorney. Your attorney can assist you through depositions, filings, court hearings and appeals. There are many deadlines to be met and obstacles to be overcome when you are fighting a denial.

The insurance company may fight your claim all the way to the courtroom, in which case you must appear in front of a judge. Often, attorneys for the insurance company will attempt to degrade your credibility and make you look as untrustworthy as possible. It is possible to represent yourself, but without a legal background you can really damage your case.

New Mexico currently caps attorneys' fees for workers compensation cases at $16,500. There is no cap on the amount that the employer or the employer's insurance company can pay their attorney. The best advice for New Mexico workers is to document fully any injury that occurs at work or as a result of working, follow the required reporting guidelines laid out by your employer and contact a worker's compensation lawyer as soon as possible to review your case. Do not give a taped statement to the insurance company until you are fully aware of your rights and the laws governing workers' compensation in New Mexico.

The only exception to the Workers' Compensation Act's mandate of coverage is in 52-1-6(A), which provides that the Act, shall not apply to employers of private domestic servants and farm and ranch laborers.

In New Mexico, that serves to be a bigger problem than in most states. There are approximately 11,000 agricultural workers in New Mexico. The majority of these workers are seasonal employee's. Farm and ranch work can be dangerous, especially without the proper safety equipment or training. Health insurance, most farm and ranch workers can not afford. Only 1% of farm workers in New Mexico have private health insurance. When workers are hurt on-the-job, they are often left with few options when seeking medical care. Many do not get the medical treatment that they need because they can not afford. The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty is fighting to include agricultural workers within the worker's compensation insurance system.


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