Serious Lawyers for Serious Injuries

Albuquerque Work Injury Lawyers

Generally speaking, injured employees in New Mexico are only able to pursue legal action outside of workers’ compensation (in other words, file a third-party claim) in certain situations. For example, employees can generally seek compensation by filing a third-party lawsuit if they were injured due to the conduct of someone who isn’t their Albuquerque, NM employer.

Most times, when an employee is injured, they file for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation, however, doesn’t always provide the means a person needs to fully recover compensation after they’ve suffered a personal injury.

If you were wrongfully hurt at your New Mexico job, an Albuquerque work injury lawyer from here at Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm can help you. A workplace injuries attorney can meet with you for a free consultation to discuss how and when your injury arose, how it affects your ability to perform your work duties, and, if necessary, how to file a civil claim in Albuquerque, NM.

How Common Are Workplace Accidents in New Mexico?

According to the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration 2021 Annual Report, reports of injuries and illnesses in the workplace were filed at a rate of 2.95 per 100 workers.

That same workers’ compensation report shows that certain New Mexico counties saw more lost-time injury incidents than others. The top five counties with the highest number of lost-time work injury incidents include:

  • Mora
  • Catron
  • Guadalupe
  • Chaves
  • Taos

Bernalillo County, where Albuquerque is located, comes up in the middle of the pack in terms of job injuries.

Common Catastrophic Injuries That Occur on the Job in New Mexico

The most commonly reported workplace injuries were strains and sprains or tears. When reporting their injuries, most injured workers detailed how they got hurt while lifting something.

In addition to the above-referenced repetitive motion injuries, broken bones and contusions also made it into the list of the top five ways New Mexico workers got hurt.

Head and neck injuries and back injuries rounded out the top 10 list of the most common serious injury types to occur on a job site in Albuquerque, NM and throughout the state. In some cases, a serious workplace accident such as the ones mentioned above resulted in workers suffering a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or limb loss.

Are Certain Industries More Dangerous To Work in Than Others?

The above-referenced workers’ compensation report detailed some of the most dangerous industries in the state. Interestingly, roles in the health care and technical industries were listed as having the most reports of injuries.

Construction and extraction followed as a close second. Transportation and materials handling was a close third. Sales and protective services rounded out the pack for the top five employment sectors most likely to leave a worker hurt or ill in New Mexico.

Of all the industries, construction is considered the most dangerous because of the number of accident-related fatalities among workers.

What Types of Workplace Accidents Are Most Likely to Result in Fatalities?

Some workplace accidents cause more than just injuries. The four most common causes of death on the job include:

  • Fall accidents
  • Getting hit by an object
  • Electrocution
  • Getting caught in or between an object

Regardless of the workplace accident you were in or the extent of your injuries, you deserve to recover maximum compensation if you were not at fault for what happened. While there are workers compensation benefits and disability benefits to help you recover and take care of most of your basic expenses, they may not cover all your losses, such as medical care costs or provide wage replacement. If that’s the case, you’ll want to consider filing a New Mexico work injury claim.

Work Injury Claims and Third-Party Liability 

Many times, a claim that an injured worker files stems from a workplace accident that was the result of third-party negligence. Third-party liability refers to injuries caused to a person as a result of negligent actions or inactions.

Examples of Situations Potentially Warranting the Filing of a Third-Party Lawsuit

Some work-accident situations that your employer isn’t responsible for, but that happened while you were on the clock at your job, may warrant you filing a third-party work injury lawsuit. In these cases, your employer isn’t to blame for the injury incident, and it may not have happened at your typical job site. You are claiming that third parties, such as private individuals and small businesses, were negligent.

The following incidents may warrant the filing of a third-party work injury lawsuit in addition to or instead of requesting workers’ comp, depending on the circumstances:

  • Motor vehicle accidents, such as car crashes or truck collisions, during work time
  • Construction site accidents, caused by defective products, such as machinery or heavy equipment
  • Slips and falls, dog bites, and other dangerous property situations resulting in premises liability accidents
  • Chemical or another toxic exposure

As you can likely surmise, the key in each of these instances is that someone else’s negligence resulted in workers suffering some kind of losses, like an injury that resulted in your medical bills. Medical records and documentation showing your lost income can be helpful as your attorney from Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm makes a demand for compensation on your behalf.

Compensation You Can Recover Via a Third-Party Injury Lawsuit

The compensation that an attorney who specializes in workplace injury related practice areas can help you recover include both economic and non-economic losses.

Understanding What Economic Damages Are

There are a variety of work accident losses you may suffer that have a verifiable value or an easily predictable forecasted one. Lawyers refer to these as economic losses when calculating the compensation you deserve. The American College of Surgeons details how the following are common economic damages:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages and future lost earnings
  • Loss of use of property
  • Replacement or repair costs
  • Domestic assistance
  • Lost business opportunities or employment prospects

Understanding What Non-Economic Losses Are

Lawyers at our Albuquerque injury law firm refer to any accident-related losses you’ve suffered without a readily discernable monetary value as non-economic damages. Some non-economic losses you may be able to recover compensation for by filing a third-party legal civil action include:

  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of society and companionship
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Inconvenience
  • Loss of enjoyment of quality of life
  • Pain and suffering

When To Pursue a Third-Party Legal Action in a New Mexico Work Injury Case

If you’re receiving workers’ compensation benefits, but they’re not covering your expenses related to the accident, you can file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for those additional damages.

While accepting benefits typically means you cannot sue your employer for the work-related injury, it does not mean you can’t take legal action against another person or company if they caused the circumstances leading up to your injury or illness.

Proving Third-Party Liability in a Work Injury Case

The burden falls on the injured worker to prove liability when they get hurt or fall ill at the hands of a third party in New Mexico. To file a successful claim, you or the lawyers representing you must prove:

  • You had a work-related accident
  • The third party owed you a duty of care
  • The third party breached that duty of care they owed you
  • You suffered work injuries
  • The workplace accident caused your work-related injuries

When a Workers’ Compensation Claim Isn’t Enough

Most injured employees in New Mexico are covered by workers’ comp, which is supposed to cover all workplace injuries or illnesses that happen in the course and scope of employment. Unfortunately, those benefits don’t always cover what you need them to. For example, workers’ comp benefits do not cover full wages or pain and suffering. It’s likely you’ll only receive compensation for a portion of your lost wages and medical expenses.

Issues can also arise if you’ve been out of work for a long time, your medical bills are greater than what the insurance company will cover, your situation has caused financial strain, or your place of work does not cover everything.

Forwarding the Idea of Third-Party Liability in an Injury Case

While filing a work injury claim is not a possibility for everyone, it is if a third party injured you, as discussed above, or in the event your employer was negligent. Examples of employer negligence include them discouraging you from reporting the incident, trying to cover up what happened, or denying you benefits you’re eligible for.

Our Albuquerque work injury lawyers can evaluate your situation and help you decide how to proceed, so you have the best chance of making a full recovery and getting back to your normal activities.

How Our Albuquerque Injury Lawyers Can Help With Your Case 

We understand the challenges that come with filing a personal injury claim. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping workplace accident victims seek the financial compensation and justice they deserve. Filing a claim takes time, and you’re likely limited to filing within certain time constraints. Because of that, it’s best to get the process started as soon as possible.

When an Albuquerque work injury lawyer from our firm takes on your claim, they’ll collect evidence and build a claim that proves you’re owed compensation, even if it’s in addition to what you’ve received through workers’ compensation. To learn more about your legal rights and options in New Mexico, contact us today.

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