If you suffer an injury or illness at your job, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In New Mexico, employers in the construction industry and other employers who have three or more staff members are required to provide injured workers with these benefits. However, there are certain steps to take to be eligible for benefits and to strengthen your claim for compensation.
5 Steps to Take Following a Workplace Injury or Illness
It's important to take action immediately after your accident to preserve your right to workers’ compensation benefits. These are essential steps you need to follow:
- Report the accident. As soon as possible, report the incident to your supervisor or employer. Under New Mexico law, you're required to file a Notice of Accident form within 15 days of your accident or illness to be eligible for workers’ comp benefits. Your employer should have a copy of this form, but if not, you can obtain it from the Workers’ Compensation Administration office or website. Keep a copy for your records.
- Seek immediate medical care. Even if you don't believe you were hurt, you want to be examined by a doctor to diagnose a medical condition for which you may not be experiencing symptoms, such as a back, neck, or spinal injury, or a brain injury. This protects your health and also avoids disputes with your employer’s insurance company as to what caused your injury.
- Take pictures. Although your entitlement to benefits isn't based on your employer’s or another’s fault, you should take pictures of the accident scene, what caused your accident, and your injuries. This information could be helpful if your claim is denied and you must fight for benefits you deserve.
- Obtain contact information. If any employees or other individuals saw your accident take place, gather their contact information before they disappear and you cannot locate them. They may be valuable witnesses for your claim.
- Retain an attorney. Unless you suffered a minor injury, such as stitches or a sprained wrist, you should retain an experienced workers’ compensation attorney soon after your accident. He can guide you through the process of filing your claim, collect important evidence for it, and negotiate your settlement.
Call Our Roswell Office Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
Do you need to file a workers’ compensation claim following a workplace injury or illness? Our experienced attorneys are here to explain how workers’ comp works in New Mexico and file your claim. Fill out our convenient online form or call our Roswell office to schedule a free consultation to learn how our law firm will aggressively fight for your rights.