Workers Comp Lawyer Santa Fe, NM
As a workers comp lawyer Santa Fe, NM clients recommend can explain, every state has its own laws addressing workers’ protections and rights if they sustain a job-related injury or illness. New Mexico has its own workers’ compensation laws, requiring the majority of employers in the state to purchase workers’ comp insurance (although some larger corporations choose to be self-insured). This insurance ensures that all injured workers will not only have all their medical expenses covered but will also receive a percentage of their weekly wages if they are unable to work while they are recovering. The following is a brief overview of workers’ compensation, but for more detailed information about your situation, call Davie & Valdez P.C.
Am I Covered?
Some people think that the only way they will be covered under workers’ compensation insurance and be entitled to benefits is if the injury occurred on the job site. But under the law, any job-related injury should qualify. Some examples of when an employee would be covered include:
- An employee who is a delivery driver and is injured while making deliveries
- An employee who travels for business and is injured while on a business trip
- An employee who is attending a job-related event, such as training, that is off-site and is injured
- An employee who is running job-related errands for their employer and is injured
While the majority of work-related injuries fall under workers’ compensation rules and the employee should receive benefits, there are some exceptions:
- If the injury was an intentional act by the employee
- If the injury was self-inflicted
- If the employee was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- If the employee was injured while they were engaging in an activity specifically prohibited by the employer
- If the employee was injured while they were engaging in illegal activity
Chronic or Permanent Illnesses
Workers’ compensation insurance not only covers injuries. It also provides benefit for employees who suffer from chronic or permanent illnesses or other health conditions that are a direct result of the employee’s job. Each Santa Fe workers comp lawyer at our firm has extensive experience representing clients who suffered the following conditions:
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Lung disease
- Heart conditions
- Chronic back problems
- Post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD)
Once your benefit is approved, all of our medical expenses will be covered, as long as you stay within the insurance company requirements. For example, in some cases, you may have to see only the doctors who are approved by the insurance company. However, if this becomes an issue, your Santa Fe workers comp lawyer may be able to request a hearing with the state board to obtain an exception, depending on the circumstances.
All of your doctor visits, diagnostic tests, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, medical equipment and devices, physical therapy, and more will be paid for by the insurance company.
Benefits also include a percentage of your weekly pay, typically two-thirds of what your regular salary is.
The majority of employees in New Mexico go to work every day and do their job the best they can. In the event they become injured at work through no fault of their own, they expect their employer will do the right thing and cover their medical expenses and loss of wages while they recover from their injury. After all, the law has workers’ compensation laws to cover this very situation and protect employees. The last thing they think they will need is a workers comp lawyer Santa Fe, NM residents rely on.
However, according to federal statistics, almost half of all workers’ compensation claims are initially denied. Many of those denials are eventually overturned on appeal by the employee, so it is critical for a worker who has been denied to retain the services of a skilled workers’ compensation attorney to fight against the insurance company.
What Are Reasons Why a Workers’ Comp Claim Could Be Denied?
Every insurance company – including those that cover workers’ compensation injuries – is in the business to make a profit. Any time the company has to pay money out for a claim, that cuts into their profit. In order to protect that profit, these companies will deny workers’ claims.
Denying injury claims also keeps the employer happy because the more claims the insurance company pays out, the higher the employer’s insurance premiums will be. So it is not uncommon for an insurance company and an employer to work together to deny or make it difficult for an injured worker to receive the benefits they are legally entitled to.
Some of the more frequent reasons a Santa Fe, NM workers comp lawyer is familiar with include the following:
- Pre-existing condition: The insurance company will look through an injured worker’s medical history to try to find any type of information that they can claim is a pre-existing condition of the worker’s current injury and, therefore, is not an injury related to the worker’s job.
- The injury occurred somewhere else and is not work-related: Another tactic insurance companies will try to use as a reason for denying benefits is to claim that the injury did not occur while the employee was working. This is often used for employees who work off-site or on the road.
- The injured worker did not notify the employer about the injury right away: It is not uncommon for a work injury to appear to be a minor one, only to have symptoms appear later, indicating a serious injury. This is enough, however, for an insurance company to use to try to deny a claim. This is why no matter how minor an injury may seem; a worker should report the incident to their employer right away.
- The injured worker missed the deadline to file a claim: State laws are specific regarding deadlines and statute of limitations and these rules must be adhered to, otherwise, the worker’s claim will be automatically denied.
- The employer disputes the claim: There are many reasons why an employer may dispute the worker’s claim of being injured on the job, however, their objection could be enough of a reason for the insurance company to deny the claim.
Where Do Workplace Accidents Happen?
It’s a common misconception that all workplace accidents happen in high-risk environments, and a workers’ comp lawyer Santa Fe, NM trusts can help you get the compensation you need whether you were injured in construction or injured in the copy room.
When it comes to workers’ comp, people think big. They imagine heavy machinery or warehouses full of heavy inventory. They don’t always think about how they can be hurt in an office. Fortunately, the professionals at Roger Davie P.C. are here to walk you through a few of the everyday hazards you can experience if you’re working a white-collar job.
Poor ergos are a huge problem for office employees. In fact, the notorious carpal tunnel syndrome can be easily prevented with the help of some padding and proper seating. When people get carpal tunnel, it means the nerves on the underside of their wrists have been constricted by constant pressure – such as when you’re using a keyboard without any wrist support.
Poor lighting can cause accidents, but flickering, dim fluorescents can also cause serious headaches. If you have to work in an office with inadequate lighting, you’re open to trip hazards that you just can’t see, but you’re also at risk of developing migraines and serious sight problems from constant eye strain.
The Break Room.
If you’re clocked out for lunch, you’re technically not on the job. But, if you’re still on company time and you’re injured in the break room, you may need the services of a Santa Fe workers comp lawyer to help you navigate the ins and outs of your claim. Hot surfaces, wet surfaces, even poorly stowed chairs and other furniture can all cause injuries – and while they may seem minor at first, there’s no telling how your injuries can worsen over time.
Improper Cable Management.
If your workplace has cables running all over the place, your workplace has trip hazards running all over the place. It’s important to remember to properly stow and secure cables for keyboards, computers, monitors, or anything else. Without proper care, these can all trip up and seriously injure employees.
The Coming and Going Rule.
Ever since the pandemic, more and more Americans have started working from home. In fact, according to Pew Research, before COVID only 20% of Americans worked at home, while now at least 54% would like to continue with their home-office arrangements. Hybrid work plans are more and more common, too, meaning some employees work at home some days, and in the office on other days. While ordinarily the “coming and going rule” means a commute isn’t covered by workers’ comp, if your home is acknowledged as a secondary workplace, that commute can technically be viewed as a business trip.
Get in Touch with a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Today
The rules about workers’ comp have changed, and will continue to change. It’s important to be aware of what can be grounds for a claim, and it’s important to have a trusted legal team at your back if you’re ever hurt on the job. Get in touch with Roger Davie P.C. today, and see how a Santa Fe workers’ comp lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Call Our Office Today
If you have been denied workers’ compensation for your job-related injury, contact Davie & Valdez P.C. to schedule a free consultation with a skilled Santa Fe, NM workers comp lawyer.