Rio Rancho Medical Malpractice Lawyer
When a trusted medical professional harms you or a loved one, you have legal options. Although the majority of medical professionals treat patients with a high level of care, even the best may commit malpractice. These medical errors may lead to patient injury and even death.
At The Fine Law Firm, our medical malpractice attorneys will review your claim at no expense to you and answer your legal questions.
- Experienced in medical malpractice law and litigation
- Compassionate and driven to help our clients get the settlements they need
- Skilled negotiators and trial attorneys
Contact The Fine Law Firm today. We are local personal injury attorneys and are proud providers of legal services to New Mexico for over forty years. We never charge upfront fees and only get paid when you do.
Why Do You Need a Rio Rancho Medical Malpractice Lawyer to Pursue Your Case?
You are in a vulnerable position as a victim of medical malpractice. Not only are you dealing with serious injuries and emotional trauma from the incident, but you are also going up against a powerful hospital or health care center, along with its legal team and insurance company. These parties do not have your best interests in mind. They want to protect themselves and their profits first. Balance the scales by hiring a skilled medical malpractice attorney to represent you.
While you focus on healing from your injuries, your medical malpractice lawyer will go up against the defendant in pursuit of justice and maximum financial compensation on your behalf using aggressive legal strategies. Your lawyer will understand how medical malpractice cases work in New Mexico, know the state laws that apply to your case and have connections to the courts in Rio Rancho.
Your lawyer can investigate the alleged act of malpractice, collect evidence and interview witnesses, hire qualified medical experts, and build your case from the ground up while you heal. Your lawyer will help you avoid common mistakes made by plaintiffs in New Mexico, such as filing past the deadline to file, and will make sure that an insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you during this difficult time.
How a Rio Rancho Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help You
Medical malpractice claims are complex and require both medical and legal knowledge. Insurance companies work hard to fight medical malpractice claims. When they do offer settlements, insurance companies often try to settle quickly and for less than a claim is worth.
Having a seasoned Rio Rancho medical malpractice attorney, like those at The Fine Law Firm, on your side, can improve your chances of winning and receiving a just and fair amount of compensation for your claim. The attorneys at The Fine Law Firm will aid your claim by:
- Investigating your case
- Determining liability for your injuries
- Hiring medical experts to establish your claim
- Gathering evidence
- Organizing and filing your lawsuit
- Proving malpractice and damages
- Negotiating and, if needed, taking your case to court
Medical malpractice claims can be difficult to prove. With a skilled negotiator and litigator by your side, you can bring a negligent medical professional to justice. At The Fine Law Firm, we are fully prepared to obtain the documents needed, file claims paperwork with the courts on your behalf and help you seek a fair financial recovery for the trauma of being mistreated by your doctor.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional treats a patient in a way that another doctor in a similar circumstance, with comparable training, would not. There are many types of medical malpractice claims. Some of the more common claims include:
- Delayed diagnosis
- Birth injuries
- Medication errors
- Surgical errors
- Failure to treat
- Improper treatment
Any medical professional may be subject to a medical malpractice claim, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Lab technicians
A medical malpractice claim is a civil action that is available to victims of this tort. It seeks financial compensation to reimburse the victim for the costs and losses associated with the medical professional’s mistake. It is a way for the victim and impacted family members to obtain justice for this tort.
What Are Types of Medical Malpractice Incidents in Rio Rancho?
Medical malpractice causes more injuries and deaths each year than most people realize. These incidents are largely underreported, making it difficult to obtain information on just how often health care practitioners make critical errors when treating patients. One study by Johns Hopkins Medicine found that medical malpractice was the third leading cause of death in the United States, placing it ahead of respiratory disease.
Although medical malpractice can take numerous forms, the top reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits in Rio Rancho are:
- Misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose – the negligent failure of a doctor to make a correct and timely diagnosis of a patient’s condition. Diagnostic errors can occur due to an incompetent or inattentive doctor, misread test results, or the failure to refer the patient to a specialist.
- Medication mistakes – prescribing the incorrect medication to a patient, failing to check the patient’s medical and drug histories, missing adverse drug interactions or drug allergies, administering the wrong drug or to the wrong patient, and other preventable pharmaceutical errors.
- Surgical and anesthesia errors – mistakes made by a surgeon or the surgical team, such as nicking a nerve or artery, causing uncontrollable bleeding, failing to monitor the patient’s vital signs, operating on the wrong patient or body part, or leaving foreign objects behind in the body cavity.
- Birth injuries – injuries suffered by a mother and/or her child due to errors by the obstetrician or gynecologist, such as improper use of birth-assistive tools, failure to diagnose a maternal condition or failure to monitor fetal vital signs during delivery.
- Infections or patient neglect – adverse outcomes due to poor patient care, such as failing to follow up with the patient after an operation or using unsanitary surgical tools. This type of malpractice can lead to infections, sepsis, bedsores and increased patient mortality.
All types of medical malpractice can cause life-changing patient injuries and must be taken seriously. These harmful events can occur at any hospital or health care center in Rio Rancho, including the Presbyterian Rust Medical Center, UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center and the Rio Rancho Family Health Center. If you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice of any form, contact us to consult with a knowledgeable plaintiff’s attorney about your rights.
What Are the Four Components of a Medical Malpractice Claim?
If you file a medical malpractice claim in New Mexico, the burden of proof will rest with you. This means it is your responsibility as the person bringing the claim to establish that the defendant is at fault for your injury, illness or infection. The burden of proof is a “preponderance of the evidence,” or clear and convincing evidence that the doctor or hospital is more likely to be responsible for your injury than not responsible.
Medical malpractice claims in Rio Rancho have four main components that must be proven as true with at least a 51 percent likelihood:
- Duty of care – there must be evidence that a professional duty of care was owed by the defendant to the plaintiff. A doctor-patient relationship must have existed at the time of the alleged act of malpractice.
- Dereliction of duty – the defendant must be guilty of a departure from the duty of care, meaning he or she did something that a reasonable and prudent doctor would not have under similar circumstances. Any act or omission that fell short of the medical industry’s accepted standards can constitute a breach of duty.
- Direct cause – the defendant’s failure to meet the duty of care must be the direct, proximate or actual cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. In other words, the patient would not have been harmed were it not for the defendant’s breach of the professional duty of care.
- Damages – the plaintiff must have suffered an injury or measurable type of harm because of the breach of duty, resulting in compensable damages (losses). Damages can be both economic and noneconomic, including medical bills and pain and suffering.
A medical malpractice attorney can help you meet your burden of proof and establish these four components using compelling evidence, such as medical documents, test results, other evidence of your medical treatment, expert testimony from medical professionals, signed eyewitness statements and previous malpractice complaints against the defendant. A law firm will have the power to take your case to court in Rio Rancho, if necessary.
Medical Malpractice Compensation in New Mexico
Medical malpractice can cause immense physical and emotional trauma that no amount of money can replace. A medical malpractice lawsuit, however, can provide some measure of justice and closure to victims. An injured patient may qualify for compensation for many past and future losses suffered because of the malpractice, including:
- Medical expenses
- Disability costs and accommodations
- Lost wages
- Lost future capacity to earn
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Attorney’s fees and court costs
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
- Lost quality of life
- Wrongful death damages, if applicable
- Punitive damages, in some cases
The value of a medical malpractice claim must be estimated by an attorney after a full analysis of the patient’s case. Case values vary considerably based on factors such as the severity of the patient’s injuries, whether he or she will suffer lasting effects, the cost of necessary medical care, the number of defendants, and the amount of insurance coverage available.
Damage Caps in New Mexico
New Mexico sets limits on the amount of damages a victim receives for their losses. When a jury decides in favor of a victim, the cap on noneconomic damages in a medical malpractice case is $600,000. Noneconomic damages include compensation for the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
New Mexico also limits economic damages to the payment of current medical bills and actual future medical bills. Estimated or speculative amounts of future medical bills are unacceptable.
How Long Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim in New Mexico?
If you wish to file a medical malpractice claim in New Mexico, you must do so before the state’s statute of limitations expires. This is a law that sets a strict time limit on your right to file a civil lawsuit. If you wait too long and attempt to file a claim after your statute of limitations has expired, the defendant’s legal team will most likely move to have the case dismissed. This is why you should contact an attorney in Rio Rancho as soon as you believe you have a case.
Victims of medical malpractice in New Mexico must file their claims within three years of the date of injury. This is the state’s deadline under New Mexico Statute 41-5-13, which says that “no claim for malpractice may be brought against a health care provider unless filed within three years after the date that the act of malpractice occurred.” Otherwise, they lose their right to recover for their losses. While there are some exceptions to this rule, it is best to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney for clarification.
One exception is if the case involves harm done to a minor patient or an incapacitated person. In this case, the family has one year from when the victim reaches the age of majority (18 in New Mexico) or the termination of incapacity to file. In a birth injury lawsuit regarding an injured infant, for example, the victim or parent would have until the injured child turned 19 to file a medical malpractice claim. It is always best to act sooner rather than later, however, while vital evidence is still available.
Get Skilled Legal Assistance With Your Case
If you need more information about a medical malpractice claim or need a possible settlement reviewed, call The Fine Law Firm. Our medical malpractice attorneys recover compensation for clients 99% of the time. We are available twenty-four hours a day and will come to you if needed.