Can I receive workers’ compensation if my injury was my fault?

Injured Employee in New Mexico With a Hurt FootWorkers’ compensation is a no-fault system, so you’re entitled to benefits regardless of the cause of your accident.

New Mexico Workers’ Compensation

Under the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Act, if an employee is hurt due to a work-related accident, he is entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits regardless of fault. This means that the employee doesn’t have to prove negligence on the part of his employer in order to receive benefits. Claims can also be processed faster, since there is no burden of proof that must be met, and no long disputes regarding who is to blame for the accident. Workers’ compensation benefits an employee may receive include:

●     Lost salary or wages.

●     Compensation for permanent disability.

●     Rehabilitation expenses.

●     Retraining costs.

Workers’ Compensation Benefit Exceptions

Even when a worker is clearly at fault for the accident that caused his injuries, he is still entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits, with a few exceptions. If the employer can successfully argue that any of these exceptions apply, the employee will be completely barred from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. These exceptions include:

●     Injuries resulting from intoxication.

●     Injuries sustained while performing an activity specifically forbidden by the employer.

●     Injuries caused by horseplay.

●     Intentional, self-inflicted injuries.

●     Injuries sustained during a fight.

The Exclusive Remedy Provision

In New Mexico, injured employees are only entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits from their employer, and nothing else. This is known as the exclusive remedy provision, and it applies even when the employer or a coworker caused a worker’s injuries due to gross negligence. Employees are barred from suing their employer for additional compensation, even when the employer is clearly at fault.

Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation laws can be very complex, but an experienced attorney can help workplace injury victims receive the compensation they deserve. If you’ve been hurt on the job, you need professional legal representation. To learn more, contact the Injury & Disability Law Center by using the form on this page.