Hobbs Third-Party Claims Attorney

When a worker is injured on the job in Hobbs, New Mexico, they are often unable to file a civil suit due to the single-recovery nature of workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp can cover medical expenses, disability, and lost wages but does not compensate for the pain and suffering associated with injuries.

Many workers are unaware of this limitation. Workers must file a third-party claim to secure full compensation, including for their injuries.

Experienced Hobbs third-party claims lawyer W. Shane Jennings specializes in navigating these complex third-party lawsuits and helps clients achieve fair compensation for injuries resulting from third-party negligence.

W. Shane Jennings is experienced in handling these intricate cases and can guide injured workers in Hobbs, New Mexico through the legal process to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve for their pain and suffering.

How Often Do Work Injuries Occur?

Workplace injuries are a significant concern in the United States, affecting millions of workers annually. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), private industry employers reported 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2022, marking a 7.5% increase from 2021.

This rise includes a 4.5% increase in injuries, totaling 2.3 million cases, and a substantial 26.1% increase in illnesses, amounting to 460,700 cases. Respiratory illnesses saw a notable increase of 35.4%, with 365,000 reported cases in 2022. These figures highlight the growing risk workers face and the need for adequate safety measures and legal protections.

The construction industry is particularly hazardous, with a significant number of injuries and fatalities. In 2021, nearly 20% of workplace deaths occurred in construction, with over one-third resulting from falls, slips, and trips. These incidents accounted for 46.2% of all fatal falls in that year. Specialty trade contractors, a major segment of the construction industry, saw an increase in fatal falls from 245 in 2020 to 281 in 2021, illustrating the persistent dangers in this field.

This gap necessitates the involvement of an experienced third-party claims attorney in Hobbs, New Mexico, who can help victims pursue additional compensation from responsible third parties.

If you or a loved one has been injured at work in Hobbs, New Mexico, due to the negligence of a third party, the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings can provide the expertise you need. With a focus on third-party claims, our team is dedicated to helping clients secure the compensation they deserve. Don’t hesitate to reach out Shane today to discuss your case and explore your legal options.

What is a Third-Party Work Injury Claim in Hobbs, New Mexico?

In New Mexico, nearly all employers are mandated to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance provides workers with partial wage replacement, temporary or permanent disability benefits, and medical expense coverage for work-related injuries, even if the worker shares responsibility for the incident.

To ensure workers’ compensation benefits cover a workplace injury, employees must:

  • Report the injury immediately to a supervisor.
  • Follow the company’s injury reporting protocol.
  • Seek medical treatment authorized by the employer.

Workers’ compensation operates on a no-fault basis. In exchange for prompt medical coverage and partial wage reimbursement, employees forfeit the right to sue their employers for their injuries, except in a few specific cases which a knowledgeable Hobbs third-party claims lawyer can explain.

While workers’ compensation provides essential support, it often falls short of covering all accident-related expenses. Employers and their insurance companies typically aim to minimize payouts to injured workers. Here, a Hobbs workers’ comp lawyer can be invaluable, helping to assert the worker’s legal rights and maximize their recovery.

However, if a worker’s injuries are caused by someone other than their employer, they may be eligible to file a third-party lawsuit. This is a personal injury lawsuit, entirely separate from a workers’ compensation claim.

Third-party lawsuits enable injured workers to seek compensation beyond what is available through workers’ compensation, including:

  • Medical expenses are not covered by workers’ compensation.
  • Lost wages and benefits not covered by workers’ compensation.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Mental and emotional trauma.
  • Scarring and disfigurement.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

For workers in Hobbs, New Mexico, industries like construction and oilfields frequently involve multiple parties, making third-party claims particularly relevant. An experienced Hobbs third-party claims attorney can assist in identifying liable parties, such as contractors, equipment manufacturers, or property owners, and proving their negligence.

Workers’ Compensation vs Third-Party Lawsuits in Hobbs, New Mexico

In Hobbs, New Mexico, understanding the distinctions between workers’ compensation claims and third-party lawsuits is essential for injured workers seeking to maximize their compensation. Both legal avenues provide distinct benefits for individuals injured in the workplace and have different requirements and outcomes. Here’s a detailed comparison to help you navigate these options:

Workers’ Compensation

Coverage and Benefits:

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system mandated for most employers in New Mexico. It provides:

  • Medical Expenses: Coverage for medical treatments related to the injury.
  • Wage Replacement: Partial compensation for lost wages while recovering (typically around 66% of your average weekly wage).
  • Disability Benefits: Payments for temporary or permanent disability resulting from the injury.
  • Death Benefits: Compensation for the family of a deceased worker, including funeral expenses.


  • Reporting: Injuries must be reported to the employer immediately, and the worker must follow the company’s injury protocol.
  • Medical Treatment: Injured workers must seek treatment from a company-authorized healthcare provider.
  • No-Fault System: Benefits are provided regardless of who caused the accident, but employees relinquish the right to sue their employer directly.


  • Compensation Cap: There are limits to the benefits, which often do not cover all lost wages or non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
  • Exclusive Remedy: Accepting workers’ compensation benefits generally means you cannot sue your employer for additional damages.

Third-Party Lawsuits

Eligibility and Benefits:

A third-party lawsuit is an option if someone other than your employer or co-worker is responsible for your injury. These lawsuits can provide compensation for:

  • Medical Expenses: Any costs not covered by workers’ compensation.
  • Full Wage Reimbursement: Recovery of all lost wages, not just a portion.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical pain and emotional distress.
  • Non-Economic Damages: Including mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and scarring or disfigurement.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases of gross negligence or malicious conduct by a third party.


  • Investigation: Requires thorough investigation to establish liability of the third party.
  • Filing a Claim: This involves filing a personal injury lawsuit, which can be more complex and time-consuming than a workers’ compensation claim.
  • Legal Representation: It is crucial to have an experienced Hobbs third-party claims attorney to navigate the legal intricacies and ensure maximum recovery.


  • Higher Compensation: Potential for greater overall compensation compared to workers’ compensation.
  • Broad Scope of Damages: Includes compensation for non-economic damages and punitive damages, which are not available under workers’ compensation.


  • Proving Fault: Unlike workers’ compensation, a third-party lawsuit requires proving that the third party was at fault.
  • Time-Consuming: These lawsuits can take longer to resolve and may involve lengthy legal processes.

Choosing the Right Path

Deciding between filing a workers’ compensation claim and pursuing a third-party lawsuit depends on the specifics of your case. Consulting with a knowledgeable Hobbs third-party claims lawyer is essential to determine the best course of action.

If you’ve been injured on the job in Hobbs, New Mexico, contact the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings to discuss your case. Our team will help you understand your rights, explore your options, and guide you through the legal process to achieve the best possible outcome.

What Are Some Common Types of Workplace Injuries in Hobbs, New Mexico?

In Hobbs, New Mexico, third-party claims in personal injury litigation can take many forms, especially given the area’s predominant industries. Here’s an overview of common scenarios and occupations associated with these claims:

Construction Accidents:

Construction sites are rife with potential hazards. Workers in this industry often face risks from falling objects, equipment malfunctions, and unsafe working conditions. For instance, a construction worker injured by a defective scaffold could pursue a third-party claim against the manufacturer of the scaffold.

Given the high rate of slip and fall accidents in the construction industry, these incidents often result in severe injuries such as fractures, head trauma, and spinal injuries. Specialty trade contractors and heavy and civil engineering construction are notably high-risk areas within this sector.

Oilfield Accidents:

The Permian Basin’s oilfields, a significant part of Hobbs’ economy, present numerous dangers. Accidents can occur on oil rigs, during transportation of materials, or from exposure to hazardous substances. Workers might be injured in vehicle collisions involving heavy trucks transporting oilfield equipment, leading to serious injuries or fatalities.

In such cases, a third-party claim could be filed against the trucking company or the manufacturer of faulty equipment. Common injuries in these scenarios include burns, traumatic brain injuries, and respiratory issues.

Work Zone Accidents:

Work zones are particularly hazardous due to the presence of heavy machinery and moving vehicles. Construction workers and road maintenance crews are at high risk for accidents caused by inattentive or speeding drivers.

In Hobbs, where road construction is frequent, injuries in work zones can be severe. Workers might suffer from crushing injuries, fractures, or even fatalities. A third-party claim could be directed at a negligent driver or a company failing to properly secure the work zone.

Exposure to Harmful Substances:

Industries such as manufacturing and oil extraction often involve exposure to toxic chemicals and hazardous environments. Workers may develop long-term health issues like respiratory conditions or skin disorders due to inadequate safety measures. For example, if a chemical spill occurs due to a supplier’s negligence, the affected workers could file a third-party claim against that supplier.

Common Workplace Accident Injuries

Workplace injuries in Hobbs can be severe and life-altering. Here are some common types:

  • Burns: Often result from fires, explosions, or contact with hot surfaces or chemicals in manufacturing plants and oilfields.
  • Electric Shocks: These can occur in construction and industrial settings due to faulty wiring or equipment.
  • Vision and Hearing Impairment: Result from prolonged exposure to loud noises or bright lights, common in construction and manufacturing.
  • Broken Bones and Fractures: Frequent in slip and fall incidents or being struck by objects in construction sites.
  • Respiratory Conditions: Due to exposure to dust, fumes, or chemicals, particularly in oilfields and manufacturing.
  • Knee and Ankle Injuries: Common in occupations involving heavy lifting and repetitive motions, such as warehouse jobs.
  • Neck and Back Injuries: Often result from lifting heavy objects improperly or slip and fall accidents.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): These can occur from falls, being struck by heavy objects, or vehicle accidents.
  • Crushing Injuries: Result from machinery malfunctions or heavy equipment accidents in construction and industrial settings.

Who Can I Sue in a Third-Party Work Injury Claim in Hobbs, New Mexico?

Due to the protections afforded by workers’ compensation laws, an injured employee will rarely have a claim directly against their employer beyond the limits of these laws. However, many work-related injuries result from the negligence of third parties other than the employer. These third-party claims have no limits and are treated like any other personal injury claim.

Identifying Third-Party Responsibility for Workplace Accidents

In Hobbs, New Mexico, work injuries frequently occur in industries such as construction, agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and transportation. These industries often involve multiple parties on job sites, which can include contractors, subcontractors, and equipment manufacturers. If your injuries resulted from the negligence of a third party, you may have personal injury claims against those third parties for your injuries and damages.

For instance, a construction worker injured by defective machinery could file a third-party claim against the manufacturer. Similarly, a worker injured in a vehicle accident while performing job-related duties might pursue a claim against the negligent driver or the vehicle’s manufacturer if a defect caused the accident.

Limitations of Workers’ Compensation in New Mexico

Under New Mexico law, the Workers’ Compensation Act limits recovery to medical care and a portion of lost wages, but it falls short of fully compensating workers for all their injuries and damages. Workers’ compensation does not adequately cover permanent injuries, severe disabilities, or death benefits, leaving workers and their families financially vulnerable.

Because of these limitations, it is crucial to determine whether your case might fall outside the Workers’ Compensation Act. This is possible if a third party, not your employer, caused your injuries.

Common Third-Party Liability Scenarios

Third-party claims in Hobbs, New Mexico, can arise from various situations, such as:

  • Negligent Contractors and Subcontractors: If a contractor’s or subcontractor’s actions lead to an injury, they can be held liable. This is common in construction accidents.
  • Defective Equipment and Machinery: If your injury was caused by defective equipment or machinery, you could file a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
  • Vehicle Accidents: Workers injured in vehicle accidents while performing job-related duties might have claims against the negligent driver or the vehicle’s manufacturer.
  • Unsafe Property Conditions: Property owners can be held responsible if they fail to maintain a safe environment, leading to injury.

Knowledgeable Workplace Injury Lawyer in Hobbs New Mexico

To maximize your compensation, it is vital to consult an experienced third-party claims attorney in Hobbs, New Mexico. With years of dedicated service and offices in Hobbs and Las Cruces, W. Shane Jennings, will advocate for your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

In addition to Hobbs, New Mexico, locations near you which W. Shane Jennings serves includes Las Cruces, Anthony, Deming, Alamagordo, Lordsburg, Cloudcroft, and Llano, TX.