Third party liability, meaning someone outside the employer was responsible for the personal injuries is the best chance of recovery for work related injuries. Without third party liability, workers’ compensation benefits may be all that is available.
Workers Compensation Inadequate for Serious Injuries or Death
The New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Act is dreadfully inadequate for compensating workers injured or killed on the job. The Act for the most part provides only or medical care and a portion of lost wages. In addition these are limited in duration despite the fact that the injuries may be permanent.
In fact, the injuries themselves often lead to the eventual loss of employment with the employer and a lifetime of lost wages due to the injuries. The Act provides no compensation for this.
The Act protects negligent employers, even grossly negligent employers. The Act includes an exclusive remedy provision with means the Act is the exclusive remedy for work injuries. In other words, you cannot sue the employer for negligence. Again, this holds true even if the employer was grossly negligent.
An injured worker must look elsewhere for fair compensation for his or her injuries.
Third Party Liability Claims
A small portion of work injuries are caused by someone outside the employer. These would include drivers, visitors, vendors, contractors, subcontractors and manufacturers to name a few.
If one or more of these parties caused the accident, then the worker can sue them directly. The real challenge here is figuring out who caused the accident. Once it is determined that the third party was responsible, the worker can take legal action against that third party.
Seek Legal Guidance
Work injuries can get a little complex where third party liability is involved. Often negligence is spread around a number of parties including the employer who cannot be sued. This takes some sorting out and considerable legal work to insure that that the worker is fairly compensated.
The Albuquerque injury law firm of Collins & Collins, P.C. can be reached at (505) 242-5958.