Typically New Mexico work-related injuries can only be pursued under New Mexico workers compensation laws, rather than general civil liability. Essentially, the New Mexico work comp statute traps the claim under work comp law. The distinction is somewhat confusing however, the difference is of great importance.
New Mexico work comp law:
Under the provisions above New Mexico’s work comp law, the general requirement for an injured worker to recover money for his or her injury is to simply show that he or she was injured while working. However, rarely can the injured New Mexico worker recover full value for the injuries. Instead, they are only entitled to recover a lesser amount and in some situations are not able to recover for many aspects of their injuries.
New Mexico civil law:
If the injured New Mexico worker can move beyond work comp law, then he or she may be able to recover substantially more money. However, in exchange, the claims are typically more difficult to prove.
So, this begs the question of when can a worker who was hurt in New Mexico move outside of work comp to recover the full value of his or her injury. The answer was clarified in the Delgado opinion in which various requirements were outlined that allowed the injured worker to sue under general civil law. Many of the elements require a showing that the employer knew or should have known that an injury was very likely to occur and did not adequately seeks to protect the employee.
“Delgado claims” as they are now popularly require an intricate and involved the valuation. Fortunately, one of the New Mexico work place injury attorneys at the fine law firm contributed greatly to the writing and research behind the Delgado opinion while he was employed at the New Mexico State Supreme Court.
the ability to escape the “New Mexico work comp trap” may allow the injured worker to recover substantially more than he or she would otherwise.
If you have been hurt on the job while working in New Mexico, contact our New Mexico work injury attorneys to determine whether you have a “Delgado Claim”.