Here are my top five conclusions/recommendations regarding the New Mexico Workers' Compensation system from 2022:
- The workers' compensation system in New Mexico works despite all of its problems. It is often too slow and unresponsive. But, it does work. Patience and persistence are key.
- Reporting a work injury or accident to your employer IMMEDIATELY is critical for the workers' compensation system to work quickly. Reporting a work injury or accident requires the employer to tell its workers' compensation insurer about the work injury or accident which requires the workers' compensation insurer to decide whether it will pay workers' compensation benefits within a certain amount of time.
- Filing a workers' compensation complaint right after workers' compensation benefits are denied or are not paid is also critical for the workers' compensation system to work quickly. Unfortunately, workers' compensation insurers won't act on a claim until an injured worker files a complaint. It's best to have a lawyer file the workers' compensation complaint for you.
- Having an emergency fund is critical. Even if a workers' compensation insurer acts quickly to start benefits for an injured worker, benefits can take weeks and, sometimes, months to start. Having an emergency fund to cover the lost wages during that time can make all the difference.
- Try to be patient with your doctors and healthcare providers. I agree with almost everyone that doctors and healthcare providers should be patient with injured workers, but this does not always happen unfortunately. However, getting crosswise with your doctor or a healthcare provider is never helpful and can even hurt a workers' compensation case.
There are lots more things I learned, but these are my top 5 for 2022.
If you've been injured at work or think you've been injured, please call me.