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Workers' Compensation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long do I have to report a work accident or injury?

In most cases, you must give notice of a work accident or injury within "within fifteen days after the worker knew, or should have known" of the accident or injury. Section 52-1-29. If you think you may have violated the 15 day notice requirement, you should still give notice.

What do I get if I'm injured at work?

There are two main benefits available to injured workers. The first is a money benefit (also known as indemnity benefits which are partial lost wage benefits. The second is "reasonable and necessary" "lifetime" medical treatment for the work injuries. There are a very limited number of other benefits that are often not at issue in a workers' compensation claim.

Can I get pain and suffering for my work injury?

Unfortunately, not. The two main benefits are money and medical benefits. Pain and suffering damages available in personal injury cases are excluded from workers' compensation cases.

How do I pay my attorney?

Section 52-1-54 of the New Mexico Workers' Compensation Act governs attorney fees. The simple answer is that a worker's attorney cannot get paid until the case is over and the attorney has gotten benefits for the worker or improved the worker's situation in the case. Attorney fees are capped at $22,500.00 plus applicable gross receipts tax. Usually the worker pays 50% of the fee and tax, and the employer/insurer pays the remaining 50%. A workers' compensation judge must approve the fee.

The worker's 50% is paid either from past money benefits owed to the worker or as an advance from future money benefits.

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Attorney Robert Scott is committed to answering your questions about workers' compensation, employment law, wage theft, personal injury, and wrongful death law issues in Albuquerque.

I offer a free consultation and I'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact me today to schedule an appointment.