After posting New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Basics #1, I remembered something.
Sometimes, when a worker gets hurt on the job, the employer will tell the worker that the employer will “take care of him or her”.
This usually means that the worker has to pay for the medical treatment and hope the employer will reimburse the worker for the cost of the treatment.
It sometimes means that the employer will also pay the worker some form of money benefit, often in the form of continued wages.
This usually happens when the employer has no workers’ compensation insurance. Strangely enough, it sometimes happens when the employer does have workers’ compensation insurance.
This usually ends up badly for the injured worker because most employers cannot pay for the worker’s medical treatment let alone the worker’s wages when the worker is not working.
Once again, BEFORE YOU GET HURT, find out if your employer has workers’ compensation insurance. It’s much better to know this before you get hurt and have to figure out a way to pay for an MRI of your back.
If there is no workers’ compensation insurance, it’s probably time to try and find a new job, unless the employer will get workers’ compensation inurance.
If you get hurt on the job or at work and the employer promises to “take care of you,” ask if there is workers’ compensation insurance. If there is, demand that the employer file the claim with the workers’ compensation insurer. If the employer refuses, call me or another workers’ compensation attorney. You can also call the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration, 505 841-6000, and ask to speak to an ombudsman, who is a WC Administration employee who is supposed to help injured workers file workers’ compensation claims.
If you get hurt and there is no workers’ compensation insurance, then call an ombudsman at the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration and tell that person you want to file a claim against the State of New Mexico Uninsured Employers’ Fund and that you want report an employer who does not have workers’ compensation insurance. The fund has limited money to pay injured workers’ money benefits and medical benefits. It’s not as good as regular workers’ compensation insurance, but it’s better than no benefits at all.
My recommendation is not to accept help from your insurer if you are hurt at work, especially if the employer has workers’ compensation insurance.