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New Mexico Workers' Compensation Laws

Whether you prefer red or green, you know that the Land of Enchantment offers residents and visitors alike a little bit of everything. From stories of alien abduction to a desert full of crystals, nothing about New Mexico is ordinary, including its workers' compensation laws. If you were injured at work, you will be thankful to learn New Mexico workers' compensation laws are broader than those in most states.

For more information on New Mexico workers' comp laws, see the table and accompanying summaries below.

Workers' Comp Statute Section

§ 52-1-1, et seq.

New Mexico Occupational Disease Disablement Law Statute Section

§ 52-3-1, et seq.

Time Limits

Benefit Time Limits

§ 52-1-40

  • Waiting period: 7 days
  • Retroactive coverage of 1st 7 days after: 4 weeks

Mental Injuries Coverage

  • Some

Agricultural Employees Covered

  • Yes


Unlike most states, New Mexico requires most employers with three or more employees -- even if those employees are farm workers -- to carry workers' compensation insurance coverage for their employees. The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled in 2016 that exuding farm laborers from workers' compensation insurance coverage is unconstitutional. Employers are not required to cover independent contractors, real estate salespeople, or private domestic workers.

Some mental injuries are covered, but not where the injury arises from an event in connection with disciplinary, corrective or job evaluation action, or employment termination. This means that if you are scolded by your boss, begin to suffer panic attacks in connection with these interactions, and proceed to seek medical treatment, it is highly unlikely that your employer's policy would cover treatment for your panic attacks.


You may be entitled to indemnity benefits if your disability prevents you from working to earn a paycheck. The amount of wage compensation benefits you may receive depends on the extent and duration of your injury and is subject to state-imposed limits. Additionally, you are entitled to medical treatment paid for by your employer's workers' compensation insurance. At the time of your injury either your employer will select a health care provider for you or your employer will give you the option to choose. Sixty days later, whichever party did not initially choose a doctor has the option to select a new doctor. If your employer initially selected your physician and there is a disagreement between you two regarding who should administer your treatment, you will need to file notice of your election to change physicians with your employer.

Dispute Resolution

If your employer's workers comp insurance denies your claim, you may start by speaking informally with an ombudsman. Alternatively, you may immediately file a complaint with the workers' comp administration court clerk. You will need to file complaint form and summons and mail a copy to the insurance company.

To insure you comply with procedure and present your best case, you may wish to work with an attorney. An attorney can help you select the best witnesses for proving various components of your case, such proving that nature of your work environment at the time of the injury or proving that your disability is the result of an accident (and not due to your own intentional self-inflicted act).

Entitled to Workers' Comp? Get Professional Help With Your Claim

The advantage of a no-fault workers' compensation insurance system is that you can recover benefits even if you were injured at work due to your own mistake. The goal of workers' compensation insurance is to financially protect both you and your employer from the financial hardships caused by disability from a workplace injury. Learn more by speaking with a New Mexico injury attorney.

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