Generally speaking, injured employees in New Mexico are only able to pursue legal action outside of workers’ compensation in certain situations. For example, employees can seek recovery if they were injured due to the conduct of someone not affiliated with their job.
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 from an injury. If you were wrongfully hurt on the job, our Albuquerque work injury lawyers can help you file a claim and seek compensation for all your injury-related losses.
Common On-the-Job Accidents and Injuries
According to the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration 2018 Annual Report, reports of injuries and illnesses in the workplace were filed at 3.12 per 100 workers. The most common nature of injury reported was strains and sprains or tears—typically as a result of lifting.
Of all the industries, construction is considered the most dangerous because of the number of accident-related fatalities. The four most common causes of death in the workplace include falls, getting hit by an object, electrocution, and getting caught in or between an object.
In addition to strains, sprains, and tears, broken bones, head and neck injuries, and back injuries are common. In the event of a serious accident, a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or the loss of a limb is a possibility.
Regardless of the accident you were in or the extent of your injuries, you deserve compensation if you were not at fault for what happened. While there are benefits to help you recover, they may not take care of all your losses. If that’s the case, you’ll want to consider filing a work injury claim.
Work Injury Claims and Third-Party Liability
Many work injury claims are filed because the accidents resulted from the negligence of a third-party. Third-party liability refers to injuries caused to a person as a result of negligent actions or inactions. The compensation from a work injury claim can cover all the lost wages and overtime, future lost income, the cost of replacement services, property damage costs, pain and suffering, and more.
Some work-accident situations caused by third-parties include car accidents during work time, construction site accidents, property owner negligence, and defective or toxic products.
Whether you’re driving to meet a client or running errands for your boss, you can file a claim in the event you were in a car accident that wasn’t your fault. If you’re on a construction site and the party responsible for safety on the job site isn’t doing their job and you’re injured, that may also give you the right to take legal action.
In regard to property owner negligence, you may be able to file a work injury lawsuit in the event you were hurt because of dangerous conditions on a property not owned or managed by your employer. The same goes if you’re injured because of exposure to a defective product or toxic substance while working.
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.
To file a successful claim, you must prove you had a work-related accident, the third-party owed you a duty of care, they breached that duty, you suffered injuries, and the work-related accident caused your injuries.
When Workers’ Compensation Isn’t Enough
Most employees in New Mexico are covered by workers’ comp, which is supposed to cover all 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 will cover, your situation has caused financial strain, or your place of work does not cover everything.
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 attorneys can evaluate your situation and help you decide how to proceed so you have the best chances of making a full recovery and getting back to your normal activities.
Legal Representation from Buckingham Barrera Law Firm
We understand the challenges that come with filing a personal injury claim. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping accident victims seek the compensation and justice they deserve. Filing a claim takes time and it’s likely you’re 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.