Specializing in slip and fall injuries, automobile accidents, auto accidents, car accidents, dog bites, EEOC claims, New Mexico Human Rights Act claims, tort cases, negligence cases.
Medical Malpractice in New Mexico
Medical malpractice, sometimes referred to as medical negligence, occurs when a medical provider fails to possess and apply the knowledge and/or to use the skill and care of a reasonably well-qualified medical provider practicing under similar circumstance and injures a patient. Medical malpractice can result from a medical provider’s actions, or by the medical provider’s inactions. Examples of medical malpractice include:
- Misdiagnosis of, or failure to diagnose, a disease or medical condition;
- Failure to provide appropriate treatment for a medical condition;
- Unreasonable delay in treating a diagnosed medical condition.
Medical malpractice actions can be brought by the injured patient against any responsible licensed health care provider, including doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, osteopathic physicians, hospitals, hospital staff members and other medical providers.
Litigating Medical Malpractice Cases in New Mexico
Medical malpractice cases require expert witnesses to review potential cases and to provide expert opinions during case preparation and at trial. Medical Malpractice cases are technically demanding and expensive to pursue. I have been handling medical malpractice cases for the past 22 years and have a background in healthcare. Because these cases are technically complicated and expensive, there should be significant medical malpractice damages, such as permanent disability, on-going medical issues, or death to justify pursuing medical malpractice claims.
Medical Malpractice Legislation
New Mexico has specific legislation, the New Mexico Medical Malpractice Act, NMSA 1978, Section 41-5-1 et seq., that affects certain medical malpractice claims. If the physician involved is covered under the Medical Malpractice Act, a patient must first submit a potential medical malpractice claim to the New Mexico Medical Review Commission. A patient must be represented by an attorney to file a medical malpractice claim in front of the New Mexico Medical Review Commission. After an informal hearing in front of the Medical Review Commission, the Commission rules on the patient’s claim, and then the patient is free to file a lawsuit. The Medical Malpractice Act also has a limitation on damages ($600,000 plus past and future medical and related expenses). Many of New Mexico’s healthcare providers, as well as hospitals, have chosen to remain outside of the Act, which means that the cap on damages does not apply and the Medical Review Commission process also is not required.
Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
In New Mexico, generally, a medical malpractice action for injury or wrongful death must be brought within three years from the date when the alleged malpractice occurred. There are different limitations periods for children. The time limit for bringing a claim depends, in part, on whether the New Mexico Medical Malpractice Act applies to a claim. If so, the time begins to run as soon as the injury occurs, even if the patient is not aware that he or she has been injured. If the New Mexico Medical Malpractice Act does not apply to a particular claim, the three-year statute of limitations period begins to run when the patient knows or should have known of the injury. There are other, shorter limitations periods for claims against state entities, such as a state hospital. This area of the law is complicated. Please give me a call to discuss any potential claim you might have and I will be happy to speak with you. There is no charge for a consultation with me.
Common Medical Malpractice injuries and practice areas
- Birth injuries
- Surgical mistakes
- Anesthesia injuries
- Complications from laparoscopic surgery
- Orthopedic surgery complications
- Injuries from medical devices
- Mismanagement of pregnancy, labor and delivery
- Failure to timely diagnose serious medical conditions
- Failure to timely diagnose post-operative complications
- Failure to diagnose cancer
- Failure to properly treat cancer
- Medication errors
- Emergency room mistakes
- Misdiagnosis of cancer or infection
- Wrong prescriptions