Suffering a workplace injury can have serious consequences for your health and your financial well-being. The steps you take immediately following a workplace accident have important consequences for your Worker’s Compensation claim and ultimately your ability to obtain fair compensation.
This blog post explains two basic concepts about Worker’s Compensation and the steps you need to take immediately following a work accident: notice and selection of healthcare provider. If you have questions regarding your specific Worker’s Compensation injury please contact us to set up a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case.
The New Mexico Worker’s Compensation act requires that an injured worker provide notice to their employer of a workplace accident. Typically workers must give notice of an accident to their employers within 15 days after the date of the accident. Under New Mexico law, employers can receive notice from their employees of a workplace accident in two ways. The first is actual notice. This involves a situation where a supervisory employee observes or otherwise has actual knowledge of a workplace accident. The second and more common form of notice however is written notice.
In order to ensure that your employer cannot deny your claim asserting that they did not have notice, it is important to provide written notice to your employer of the workplace accident as soon as possible. If your employer does not provide you with a form to do so, send them an email or a text message.
Failure of a worker to provide timely notice of a workplace accident is a complete defense to liability. This means that if you do not make timely notice to your employer, they may be able to successfully deny paying for your medical care and paying you the indemnity benefits you are owed.
Selection of Healthcare Provider
If you’re hurt, your first priority must be taking care of your injury.
The Worker’s Compensation system in New Mexico has very specific rules however about which doctors you can go to for treatment of your Worker’s Compensation injuries.
After you have provided notice of your accident to your employer, they have the responsibility to inform you within a reasonable amount of time regarding their decision about which medical providers will be authorized to treat you. The employer should also advise you in writing of whether or not the employer is going to pick the doctor who treats you initially or if you will have that right.
Typically your employer’s decision regarding the selection of a healthcare provider will be sent to you in the form of a letter by the insurance company.
The Worker’s Compensation act provides serious consequences for employers who fail to notify injured workers regarding the selection of healthcare providers.
If you have suffered a workplace injury but were never notified of your rights regarding healthcare provider selection or medical care please contact us for a free consultation immediately.