Medical malpractice is the failure of a health care professional to provide proper care to a patient, resulting in patient injury or death. If you believe you have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim in New Mexico, you should take certain steps to start building your case right away. Contact an attorney for further assistance preparing for and filing your medical malpractice case.
Report Your Doctor and Seek a Second Opinion
First, report the health care provider to New Mexico’s medical licensing board. They can conduct an investigation and evaluate the doctor’s actions for signs of negligence. This could lead to action being taken against the doctor, such as removing his or her medical license. Meanwhile, go to a different doctor for a second opinion and to receive medical care for any injuries caused by the malpractice.
Gather Evidence and Information
Then, do what you can to collect evidence to support your claim. When you file a medical malpractice case, the burden of proof rests with you as the injured party or plaintiff. This means you or your attorney must establish that your claim is more likely to be true than not true to receive financial compensation.
Evidence in a medical malpractice case often includes:
- A detailed account of what happened
- Copies of your medical records
- X-rays and test results
- Hospital bills
- Doctor’s and nurse’s notes
- Eyewitness statements or interviews
- Photographs and videos
- Your injury journal
- Proof of losses, such as wage statements
Gathering evidence early can lead to a stronger claim, while eyewitness accounts are accurate and important documents still exist. A medical malpractice lawyer can help you preserve and collect evidence to prove your case, including hiring a medical expert to provide testimony.
Submit an Application to the Medical Review Commission
According to New Mexico Statutes, Section 41-5-15, all medical malpractice claims must start with an application sent to the Medical Review Commission. This is a panel of six members, where there are licensed attorneys and three are health care professionals. The panel will review the facts of the case and available evidence to determine if 1) there is substantial evidence that malpractice occurred and 2) there is a reasonable medical probability that the patient was injured by the malpractice.
File a Claim Without Delay
In New Mexico, a law known as the statute of limitations limits your right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to three years from the date of the act of malpractice. In general, if you fail to file within three years, the courts will refuse to hear your case – barring you from receiving financial compensation forever. However, if you did not discover your injuries from medical malpractice right away, you will have three years from the date of reasonable discovery to file. Avoid missing the deadline to file by contacting a medical malpractice attorney in Albuquerque as soon as possible.
Contact an Attorney
The claims-filing process can be confusing and overwhelming – especially for a medical malpractice case, which deals with nuanced laws and complex medical issues. The best way to protect your rights and pursue the financial compensation that you deserve is to contact an Albuquerque medical malpractice attorney at the Fine Law Firm today.
An attorney can take over your claim and conduct a comprehensive investigation of the doctor or medical center that caused your injury. Your lawyer can immediately begin to collect evidence to support your case, as well as reach out to medical experts for testimony. An attorney can also help you get through the Medical Review Commission requirement prior to filing a lawsuit. With a lawyer by your side, you can focus on recuperating from your injury while an experienced professional handles legal legwork for you.