Albuquerque Surgical Error Lawyer
Getting surgery is daunting enough without the possibility of a surgeon making a careless mistake while you’re on the operating table. Unfortunately, medical malpractice during surgeries is a very real risk to patients in New Mexico. If you believe that you or a loved one is a victim of a preventable surgical error during an operation in Albuquerque, please contact The Fine Law Firm for a free medical malpractice consultation with an attorney. We can let you know if your case has merit and how we can help you and your family recover from this wrongdoing.
Why Choose Us
- We have a success rate of 99 percent. Our lawyers use proven and personalized legal strategies to achieve the best possible results for each client.
- Our medical malpractice attorneys are trial-tested and prepared to take any case to court, if necessary. We don’t back down from a fight on behalf of our clients.
- We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you won’t pay your Albuquerque surgical error lawyer unless he or she wins your case.
Why You Need an Attorney as the Victim of a Surgical Error in Albuquerque
A civil lawsuit involving a surgical error falls under the umbrella of medical malpractice law. This is one of the most complicated types of personal injury cases. Medical malpractice lawsuits in New Mexico come with their own unique laws and statutes. These cases are often difficult to win, as the injured patient (the plaintiff) must show that a physician or surgeon breached a medical standard of care to receive compensation.
Hiring a surgical error attorney can benefit you in many ways as a plaintiff. An attorney will know exactly how to protect your rights and navigate the state laws that apply to your case. For example, your lawyer can confidently negotiate with an insurance company on your behalf to argue for the case outcome that you deserve. A medical center or insurance company will have no choice but to treat your claim fairly. This can improve the outcome of your case.
Finally, hiring an attorney can allow you to focus on healing rather than dealing with the complex claims process. You can rest with peace of mind after an experienced lawyer takes over your surgical error case. Your lawyer can investigate for you, collect evidence and hire qualified medical experts to strengthen your lawsuit – all while making sure that you and your family have everything you need to rebuild your life.
When Is a Surgical Error Medical Malpractice?
The definition of medical malpractice in New Mexico is a violation of the medical industry’s standards of care by a health care professional, resulting in patient harm. It is when a professional in the medical field, including a surgeon or the surgeon’s team of surgical assistants and registered nurses, negligently breaches the medical industry’s standards of care. Negligence means a careless failure to exercise appropriate care for a situation. When negligence injures or kills a patient, the health care practitioner can be held responsible.
Not all issues during a surgery constitute medical malpractice. All surgeries come with risks. There is always the risk that something might go wrong during an operation, resulting in patient injury or death. What a patient does not sign up for is the risk of a surgeon or surgical team making a negligent mistake during an operation. Doctors and surgeons are held to extremely high standards when it comes to patient care. If a surgeon falls short of these standards during an operation, the patient can suffer serious injuries.
If any complications arise during an operation, for instance, the surgeon should be trained and prepared to address them quickly and correctly. The surgeon should not freeze up or make decisions that compromise the patient’s health or safety. The surgical staff should also follow medical procedures, such as communicating with one another clearly and taking other necessary steps to keep patients free from harm.
If a reasonable and prudent health care provider would have done something differently during your surgery and prevented your injury or infection, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit in Albuquerque. It is up to you or your lawyer, however, to prove the elements of your case. This includes causation, or proof that your injuries would not have occurred but for the negligence or mistake made by the defendant.
Examples of Surgical Errors
There is no such thing as a minor surgical error. Any mistake or mishap during an operation has the propensity to be catastrophic – meaning it could have a lifelong effect on the patient. It is the surgeon’s legal and ethical obligation to take the proper steps to prevent surgical errors. Unfortunately, many practitioners in New Mexico fail to meet these responsibilities. This results in avoidable injuries and deaths during operations. Examples of surgical errors that constitute medical malpractice in Albuquerque include:
- Unnecessary surgery. Performing a procedure that a patient did not need from a medical standpoint.
- Lack of informed patient consent. Failing to properly inform the patient about the procedure and receive his or her implied or express consent.
- Anesthesia mistakes. Errors made by the anesthesiologist that result in too much or too little anesthesia given to the patient.
- Incorrect surgery performed. Getting patient charts or information mixed up and performing the wrong surgery on a person.
- Wrong-site surgery. Making an incision in the wrong spot on the patient, causing unnecessary scarring or the need for revision surgeries.
- Patient mix-ups. A never-event in which problems at the hospital result in mixing up two or more patients.
- Nicked arteries and damaged nerves. Harming a patient through careless mistakes made during the procedure, such as damaging arteries and nerves with surgical tools.
- Making mistakes under pressure. Failing to keep a cool head and rely on training during an operation, leading to inappropriate actions or inadequate responses to emergencies.
- Leaving foreign objects in the body cavity. Accidentally leaving tools or materials inside a patient’s body after an invasive procedure.
- Poor post-op or follow-up care. Failing to properly meet a patient’s medical needs after a surgery and causing complications such as infections.
- Premature patient discharge. Allowing a patient to leave a hospital too soon, exposing him or her to a risk of infections and other health problems.
If you or a loved one suffered any type of injury, illness or infection related to a surgery that you believe would not have occurred had your surgeon used an appropriate level of care or prudence, consult with our attorneys about a potential medical malpractice lawsuit. We can search for evidence of malpractice, such as testimony from a surgeon in a similar practice confirming that he or she would have done something differently to prevent the harm that you suffered.
Consequences of Mistakes Made on the Operating Table
Errors made by health care professionals in the operating room can be dire for patients. The patient is already experiencing some type of medical condition or health concern that requires surgery. Failing to receive the proper standard of patient care during an operation can diminish his or her health even further – possibly causing premature death. It can also create new problems that the victim otherwise would not have suffered. If a patient does survive a surgical error, he or she can experience significant consequences that may last a lifetime, such as:
- Physical pain
- Chronic pain
- Nerve damage
- Brain damage
- The loss of a limb
- Diminished enjoyment of life
- Sexual dysfunction
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional trauma
- Psychological damage
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent physical disability
This does not include the financial or economical costs of surgical errors, such as lost wages and the need for revision surgeries. Surgical errors can be extremely damaging for a patient in many ways. They can make a patient feel betrayed by the health care system and overwhelmed at the repercussions. If you or a loved one is a victim of a surgical error in Albuquerque, our attorneys can help you find greater hope for the future through legal services constructed to hold a surgeon or surgical center accountable for your damages.
If your lawyer can prove medical malpractice, the surgeon and/or hospital involved in your case may be financially responsible for your related losses. You may be able to hold a surgeon individually liable if he or she was an independent contractor. However, the hospital or surgical center may be vicariously liable if the physician in question was an employee. A successful settlement or jury verdict in New Mexico can result in payment for the following losses:
- Your related medical expenses
- Any necessary revision surgeries
- Medications and medical devices
- Long-term symptoms or disability
- Losses of income
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional injuries and psychological trauma
- Legal fees
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Punitive damages
The value of your surgical error lawsuit in Albuquerque will depend on your exact losses and the level of your injuries. It is important to work with an attorney to recover fair financial compensation from the defendant, as insurance companies often try to devalue serious injuries to save themselves money. An attorney can protect your best interests during the claims process.
What Do You Need for a Surgical Error Lawsuit in New Mexico?
Every state has its own medical malpractice laws. It is important to follow the rules in New Mexico from the very beginning of your case. Otherwise, you could make a mistake that compromises your ability to hold someone accountable for your surgical error. Our lawyers at The Fine Law Firm can help you navigate New Mexico’s medical malpractice laws to improve your odds of success. Some of the most important laws to know are:
- Medical review commission requirement. State law requires all medical malpractice claims that are filed to be reviewed by a medical commission. This is a panel of qualified medical and legal experts who will look over the claim and determine if it is valid.
- The burden of proof. The burden of proof in a medical malpractice lawsuit is a preponderance of the evidence. This means clear and convincing evidence to show that the defendant is liable for the injury in question with at least a 51 percent likelihood.
- Damage cap. There is a cap, or limit, on the amount of financial compensation that can be recovered in a medical malpractice claim in New Mexico. Currently, no plaintiff may recover more than $600,000 in nonmedical and nonpunitive damages. This means losses such as wages and pain and suffering.
The surgical error attorneys at The Fine Law Firm can help you get through the medical review, collect evidence to meet the burden of proof and demand the maximum possible amount of financial damages on your behalf. We can guide you through all of the laws and regulations that apply to your case to keep the filing process efficient and free from mistakes. Our lawyers will do everything possible to help your surgical error case succeed.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in New Mexico?
Another law that you need to know as the victim of a surgical error is New Mexico’s statute of limitations. This law imposes a deadline on your ability to hold someone responsible for medical malpractice. If you miss the deadline and try to file outside of the allotted frame of time, the courts will most likely reject your case. Each state has its own statute of limitations on medical malpractice civil suits.
In New Mexico, the deadline for filing a claim for medical malpractice is three years from the date of the incident. If you didn’t discover the act of malpractice or your injury or illness until later, you will have three years from the date of discovery. For example, if you did not realize that a surgeon left a foreign object in your body until a year after your operation, you will have three years from the date you discovered the item to file.
There is a slightly different statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims involving a health care provider that has paid a premium to the Patient’s Compensation Fund. In this scenario, you must go through the medical commission review process first, then file your lawsuit within three years. If your injuries were not obvious within the first three years, you may have additional time to file.
Contact an Albuquerque Surgical Error Lawyer Today | Free Consultations
For more information about surgical errors and your right to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit, contact the Albuquerque personal injury attorneys at The Fine Law Firm. We can help you understand and protect your rights in the fight for justice against a surgeon, health care center or another party. Request a free consultation today by contacting us online or calling (505) 889-3463.