New Mexico Medical Malpractice
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to a medical provider’s negligence, speak to a New Mexico Medical Malpractice Lawyer. Depending on your situation, you may have the right to file a claim for compensation to reimburse you for your losses. Call (505) 889-3463 or send us a message online to schedule a free consultation today.
Why Choose Us?
With a passion for justice, the Fine Law Firm fights aggressively for victims of medical malpractice.
- We have maintained a 99% success rate in settling cases.
- We build close relationships with our clients to ensure we meet their goals.
- We have extensive trial experience and will not back down against large healthcare companies, providers, or their insurance companies.
Why You Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
New Mexico medical malpractice changes from city to city within the state of New Mexico. In all New Mexico medical malpractice, the plaintiff must prove that the medical provider’s conduct fell below the recognized standard of care. However, New Mexico law also says that the standard of care changes depending on not only the circumstances, but also the location.
For example, doctors at a well-staffed hospital such as Albuquerque’s University of New Mexico Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital, or Lovelace Hospital are held to different standards than an after-hours clinic in a remote corner of the state. For this reason, what may be a strong medical malpractice case in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, or Las Cruces may be weaker in Raton or Alamogordo.
For this reason, one should consider hiring a medical malpractice lawyer that is familiar with the changing standards of care and familiar with the region where the claim arose and how it compares to other parts of the state.
Secondly, they will have the resources necessary to build a strong case to prove the medical provider deviated from the standard of care expected of them. Lastly, pursuing a medical malpractice case can be costly. If you pursue a claim on your own, you will be responsible for the expenses out-of-pocket. Many medical malpractice attorneys, including the Fine Law Firm, will cover those costs upfront, so there is no risk to you.
Types of Medical Malpractice Claims We Handle
We handle all types of medical malpractice claims, but most commonly, they involve the following:
Failure to Obtain Informed Consent
By law, patients must be given the information necessary to make an educated and informed choice about their treatment. If a doctor fails to disclose the risks of treatment or takes away a patient’s right to make an informed decision, the healthcare provider can be liable for any harm they cause.
Misdiagnosis / Failure to Diagnose
When a doctor diagnoses a patient with the wrong condition or fails to diagnose a medical condition, that patient may receive unnecessary treatments and medications or may not receive the medications and treatments they need. As a result, it can lead to injury or death.
Patients sometimes receive the wrong medication, an improper dose, or a defective or dangerous drug. Legal action can be taken against a hospital, doctor, nurse, pharmacist or other provider responsible for a medication error resulting in an illness or injury.
Many medical malpractice injuries occur during surgery. For example, a surgeon may operate on the wrong patient, on the wrong part of the body, or leave surgical instruments behind.
These errors occur, for instance, when a doctor administers too much or too little anesthesia, delays delivery of anesthesia, fails to prevent or recognize adverse drug reactions, administers the wrong type of anesthesia, fails to properly monitor a patient under anesthesia, etc. The consequences of anesthesia errors can range from confusion or an abnormal pulse to brain damage or death.
Mothers and babies can both be at risk of injury during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or the post-delivery period. Any mistake by the medical staff or malfunction of defective equipment can cause devastating injuries that may result in disability or even death.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims in New Mexico?
Every state has a statute of limitations in place to limit the amount of time victims have to file a medical malpractice claim. In New Mexico, you generally have three years from the date the medical malpractice occurred, regardless of when you discovered it. However, there are some exceptions that may “toll” or delay this deadline.
If a healthcare provider deliberately hid the malpractice, you can receive extra time to bring a lawsuit if you can provide proof. Furthermore, the concealment must have prevented you from discovering the malpractice within the three-year period.
If the victim is a minor, the statute of limitations is extended until one year after the child turns 18.
If the statute of limitations has passed, the court will likely dismiss your case, and you will lose your right to recover compensation.
What is Considered to be Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice refers to almost any situation where a provider’s improper care harms a patient. Healthcare providers are held to certain medical standards under the law, and patients have the right to expect the same level of care collectively recognized by health professionals in the same field. When a medical provider deviates from their duty and fails to provide the level of care expected of them in a particular situation, it is considered malpractice. An honest mistake by a doctor or simply being unhappy with the care you were given does not necessarily mean medical malpractice occurred.
To prove medical malpractice has occurred, you must be able to provide evidence of the following:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed. This element can be relatively easy to prove with medical records unless it was a consulting physician who did not directly treat you. The records will show that you hired the medical provider, and they agreed to treat you.
- The healthcare provider breached their duty of care. To demonstrate that negligence has occurred requires establishing what the appropriate “medical standard of care” was under the circumstances and how it was deviated from. In other words, evidence that a different course of action was medically appropriate considering your situation, but the healthcare provider failed to meet that standard of care. Establishing the standard of care in your specific case and how it was violated will often require testimony from a medical expert.
- The provider’s breach of care directly caused your injury. You must be able to demonstrate that your injury or illness was “more likely than not” a direct result of the medical provider’s incompetent decision(s) or treatment.
- The injury/illness resulted in damages. To have a case for compensation, you must have suffered damages. For example, medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.
Who Can File a New Mexico Medical Malpractice Claim in New Mexico?
Any patient who suffers an injury or illness due to a healthcare provider’s negligence can file a medical malpractice claim in New Mexico. In most cases, the victim must be the one who pursues a case, but in some circumstances, another party may be able to do so on the victim’s behalf. For example, in cases involving a victim who is a minor, their parents have the right to file a medical malpractice claim. In addition, when medical malpractice causes a victim’s death, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the surviving family.
What Damages Can Be Recovered From a Medical Malpractice Claim?
If a medical professional’s negligence led to an injury or worse, you have the right to pursue compensation for your losses. There are two types of recoverable damages:
Economic damages are awarded to reimburse measurable losses, such as:
- Medical expenses: Any bills related to the care and treatment for the illness or injury caused by the provider’s negligence.
- Anticipated Future Medical Expenses: Any costs for ongoing medical care and any treatment you may require in the future.
- Lost Wages: Compensation for the time missed from work while recovering up until your case is resolved, and in the future.
- Diminished Earning Capacity: If the harm done interferes with your ability to earn wages in the future by either being unable to work or forcing you into a different line of work.
Compensation for incalculable or subjective losses, such as:
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the amount of physical pain you have had and will endure, as well as any emotional distress caused by the injury or illness. Emotional distress can include, for example, depression, loss of sleep, anxiety, and other psychological symptoms.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If your injury or illness has impacted your quality of life. For example, being unable to do things you were able to do before.
- Disability or Disfigurement: If the injury or illness resulted in a permanent disability or disfigurement that has lasting physical, emotional, and social consequences.
- Loss of Consortium: A spouse can recover this type of compensation for the loss of marital benefits, such as affection, companionship, or sexual relations.
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are not measurable. Therefore, it is ultimately up to a jury to determine their worth. In cases involving a healthcare provider who exhibited gross negligence, the court may award punitive damages as well, which are intended as punishment.
Contact Us Today
It is importation to hire a New Mexico Medical Malpractice law firm that is aware of not only New Mexico law on malpractice, but how these laws affect medical malpractice cases throughout all the nooks and crannies of the state.
Schedule your free consultation today if you believe you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice. We can discuss your situation and your legal options.
Additionally, if you’re looking for information specific to Albuquerque, visit the following page: Albuquerque Medical Malpractice Laws