In order to remain in compliance with New Mexico state law, most every employer is required to take out workers' compensation insurance. This type of liability insurance covers costs associated with worker injuries to include medical bills, lost wages and other related damages.
As for how a work-related injury is defined, it includes any injury that an employee suffers while working on behalf of his or her employer. While many might think that this definition means that it's required that the injury occurs on their employer's premises, it can actually happen in a company car or on another party's property as well.
To be considered a work-related injury, it has to occur while an individual is carrying out his or her work tasks. However, an injury might be covered by this type of insurance if it can be attributed to a work-related condition or requirement. An example of this includes someone who is later diagnosed with lung cancer as a result of having worked in a restaurant that permitted smoking inside.
Although you might expect any injury you might suffer during a lunch break, visit to your company's restroom or while walking to your car in your employer's parking lot to not be an event that would be covered, it might just be. That's because, even if you happen to have been clocked out at the time, your actions are still considered to coincide with ordinary work-related tasks.
The same goes for a off-premises lunch meeting or company party as well. A workers' compensation claim may even be filed if you have a preexisting medical condition that deteriorated while you were on the job.
While all states' workers' compensation insurance policies are required to cover workers with an employee classification, some states do not require companies to take out coverage that protects everyone that works for them. Oftentimes, a company's independent contractors, undocumented, seasonal or agricultural workers, or domestic ones are not required to be protected by such policies.
If you've suffered a workplace injury and you're wondering what your rights are as it relates to filing a claim, then a Los Lunas workers' compensation attorney can help.
Source: FindLaw, "What types of injuries are compensable under workers' compensation?," accessed July 13, 2017