Dealing with New Mexico medical malpractice can be a really difficult thing, especially because instead of getting better, your health deteriorates because of a negligent doctor.
It’s important to get familiar with all the important matters in such cases and understand how to act fast. New Mexico has a medical malpractice statute of limitations of 3 years.
To be sure that you understand how it applies to your case, it’s best to consult with a New Mexico medical malpractice attorney.
How To Prove New Mexico Medical Malpractice
A doctor-patient relationship – You should show that the said doctor was treating you. This means you hired the doctor and they agreed on that.
For instance, a doctor that you overheard was giving medical advice to another person in the supermarket is not your doctor, you don’t have a doctor-patient with them, therefore, you can’t sue them.
- Negligent doctor – To prove negligence is not enough only to be dissatisfied with the way the doctor treated you. They won’t be liable in that case. The doctor must have been negligent about your diagnosis and treatment. If you believe there was medical malpractice, you have to prove and show that the doctor harmed you in a way, that a competent doctor in the same circumstance wouldn’t have. The doctor should be careful and skillful, but it’s not necessary to offer you the best care for you to sue them for negligence.
- Almost all states require proof that the doctor deviated to give a proper medical standard of care.
- The negligent doctor caused an injury – Many malpractice cases involve patients that were already ill or injured. But, there is a question of whether the doctor caused harm with their negligence. If a patient dies after treatment for a serious illness such as cancer, it would be a challenge to prove that the death occurred because of the illness or because of the doctor.
- The injury caused specific damage – Even if it’s clear that the physician didn’t do his best work, the patient cannot sue for malpractice if they didn’t have any harm. These are types of harms you can sue for: physical pain, mental distress, further medical bills, lost work, and lost earning capacity.
Statute of Limitations in New Mexico – Three Years
In New Mexico, the statute of limitations for an injured person to bring medical malpractice to court will expire after three years. For children younger than the age of six, the statute of limitations will expire when the child turns nine.
The statute of limitations in most personal injury cases is based on the date of the injury and will expire three years after the date the person was injured.
In medical malpractices, it can be hard to apply the statute of limitations, especially if an injury happens on a certain date but will become visible a few days later (this is often a case with car accidents). Sometimes, certain injuries don’t appear for days, months, or even years.
Limits on Damages
New Mexico places limits on medical malpractice awards when a plaintiff has a successful case and the jury decides that the defendant is liable. The statute of limitations is only applicable for non-economic damages such as medical expenses and lost wages.
For non-economic damages, the state includes compensation for the plaintiff’s pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and other similar losses that occurred after the medical malpractice.
Non-economic damages don’t include compensations for lost wages, medical bills, or other quantifiable economic damages.
New Mexico doesn’t put a limit on economic damages to a specific dollar amount, but the state will put a limit to the payment of future medical expenses for the required amounts. This means that if you were injured because of medical malpractice, you can only collect damages for bills actually received, instead of speculative amounts that are based on calculations.
Do You Need an Attorney
Cases like these require the legal assistance of medical malpractice lawyer. This way you’re ensuring that you’ll have proper guidance and a knowledgeable and skilled lawyer who will know what you should do next.
If you were recently injured because of a doctor’s negligence, and you don’t know how to start the process, allow our team of attorneys to help you. We have experience with such cases; contact our office today and schedule your first consultation free of charge.
Let us stand by your side and help you get your deserved claim.