New Mexico Work Related Injuries
One of the first things to understand about New Mexico worker’s compensation and work injury law is that only in certain situations can an injured New Mexico worker pursue legal action outside of workers compensation law. Generally speaking, when an employee is injured on the job, he or she is limited to pursuing compensation for the injury under worker’s compensation law. This is especially true if the injured worker, or nobody else, was responsible for the injury. However, even if the injury was caused because of an employer or co-employee’s negligent conduct, the worker may still be limited under New Mexico worker’s compensation law.
The downside to worker’s compensation is that many times the amount that can be recovered for a given injury is less than if the same claim were made under general New Mexico injury law. As a result, one of the common questions our Aluquerque work injury lawyers are asked is if there is any way to escape the limits of New Mexico worker’s compensation law and instead pursue legal action in hopes of a higher recovery. One of the triggers that allow claims outside of New Mexico worker’s compensation law is if the injured New Mexico worker was injured due to the conduct of someone not affiliated with their job. Examples of this include New Mexico workers that are hurt in car accidents due to someone else’s negligence or are hurt by workers from another company, such as at construction sites.
Recently, the New Mexico Supreme Court expanded the ability to pursue an action outside of work compensation if the employer played a bigger role in causing the injury. The new case law is complex and still being established, but examples of cases that may fit within this relatively new exception include claims in which the worker was injured because his or her employer forced them to undertake tasks that were dangerous and likely to result in injury without additional safeguards.
The New Mexico personal injury lawyers at the Fine Law Firm are happy to discuss the merits of your work injury claim and let you know if we believe you can pursue legal action outside of New Mexico work comp law to try and obtain a higher recovery.