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The Workers’ Compensation Process

The Workers’ Comp Process

First, Notify your Employer of your Workers’ Comp injury.

If you get hurt at work, you have to notify your employer.  The law says you have to give your employer written notice of an accident or injury at work within 15 days of it happening.  So if you get hurt at work, use your employer’s accident notification form, or simply write one out on a piece of paper.  Tell your boss when you got hurt, where you were at work, and how it happened.  Keep a copy for yourself.

Remember–if you don’t give this notice within 15 days, you may not be able to bring a claim, and your injuries may not be covered!!

Next, seek medical care for your injuries.

Under Workers’ Compensation, the employer’s Work Comp plan should pay for your healthcare.  Make sure you make all of your appointments, and do what your doctor tells you to do to get better.  Your doctor will monitor your progress and report back to you.

Then, begin the Workers’ Comp Claims Process.

Finally, you’ll go through the Workers’ Comp claim process.  It’s a process you’re allowed to try on your own, but we don’t recommend it.  The last thing you need to worry about while you’re recovering from your workplace injury is fighting against an insurance adjuster for the pay and benefits you deserve.

Under Workers’ Compensation law, you’re entitled to pay for your missed time working because of your injury.  That pay will be based on temporary disability and will be calculated based on a complicated formula.  For most workers, the maximum number of weeks’ worth of pay you can get will be 500.

After you’ve completed your medical treatment, the doctor will inform you that you have reached “Maximum Medical Improvement,” or “MMI.”  If you’re all healed up, that will generally be the end of your claim.  But if you’re permanently disabled because of the workplace accident, you’re entitled to permanent partial disability pay.

For permanent partial disability, you’ll be assigned a disability rating that will take into account whether you can return to work or go to work at other kinds of jobs.  But no matter the rating, you’ll only be entitled to benefits based on up to 500 to 700 weeks’ worth of pay, so it’s important that your rating is accurate.  Otherwise, you won’t get paid enough.

Hiring a Workers’ Comp Lawyer

If you’ve been injured at work, you have the right to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer to help you with your claim from start to finish.  A workers’ compensation lawyer can help determine whether you’re entitled to temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, and other benefits under Workers’ Comp law.  And if you have a valid claim for benefits, a workers’ comp lawyer will represent you and take your case before the New Mexico Worker’s Compensation Administration.

If you or someone you love has been hurt or killed at work, contact us for a free evaluation of your workers’ compensation claim.  There’s no obligation.  And if we take your case, you owe us no fee unless we win your case and get you additional workers’ compensation benefits.