| Read Time: 3 minutes | Medical Malpractice
example of negligence in healthcare

It probably comes as no surprise to know that medical professionals can make grave mistakes. Some of these mistakes involve negligence, opening the door for a medical malpractice claim.

Victims can suffer lifelong consequences when these mistakes happen. In severe cases, victims may even pass away due to the medical provider’s error.

Some victims never pursue a claim, because they may be unsure whether there was medical malpractice or assume that no one will be held accountable.

If you suspect you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice, it’s critical to speak with an experienced New Mexico medical malpractice lawyer at Poulos & Coates right away.

In the meantime, here’s a look at some of the most common types of medical negligence for which we routinely represent clients.

Common Causes of Medical Malpractice[hide]

Misdiagnosis

One common example of negligence in healthcare is misdiagnosis.

When a doctor fails to properly diagnose a patient’s correct illness or disease, they may say the person has no sickness or suggest the patient has another type of illness.

Either way, it prevents the patient from receiving the care they need. However, not all cases of misdiagnosis rise to the level of medical malpractice.

Malpractice only applies when another doctor with a comparable educational background and in a similar treatment situation would have made the diagnosis that the current doctor failed to make and the patient suffered harm as a result of the misdiagnosis.

Delayed Diagnosis

Another common medical error involves a delayed diagnosis. In this situation, a doctor may make an incorrect diagnosis at first but eventually makes the right one.

In the meantime, the patient’s condition becomes worse because they are not receiving the treatment they desperately need.

To be sued for delayed diagnosis, a medical doctor must have acted less competently than other medical professionals would’ve.

One example would be failing to order routine tests that would’ve provided the correct diagnosis.

Surgical Errors

When you undergo surgery, there is always some element of risk. However, when unexpected results happen, it can amount to medical negligence.

Examples of potential surgical errors that lead to medical malpractice claims include:

  • Performing unnecessary surgical procedures;
  • Operating on the wrong body part;
  • Failing to perform the correct procedure;
  • Leaving surgical instruments or tools in the body;
  • Incorrect amount of anesthesia;
  • Damaging a nerve, organ, or other tissue during the procedure; and
  • Poor aftercare.

Don’t assume that because you signed a surgical consent form that acknowledges the risks that the doctor is not negligent.

Even if they warned you of potential complications, you can hold your surgeon responsible for injuries or death resulting from their negligent actions.

Medical Product Liability

There may be more than just the medical provider liable for your injuries in some cases. If they used a faultily designed medical device, you could have a claim for damages.

Medical devices that malfunction or do not work as marketed can cause further harm to a patient or cause their death.

Unfortunately, some of these devices cause injury before the defects are known. However, if the manufacturer knows about the defect or should’ve known, they can be liable to all victims.

Failure to Treat

If a doctor makes the correct diagnosis but doesn’t recommend the proper treatment, it could amount to a failure to treat.

This situation can happen when doctors have too many patients or fail to follow up as necessary.

If your doctor releases you too soon, fails to refer you to a specialist, or doesn’t provide the proper follow-up care, you could have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

Birth Injuries

When you are going into labor, you don’t want to think about all the things that can go wrong. Birth injuries can be devastating and often have serious consequences, requiring expensive lifelong medical care for the baby.

When a medical professional makes a mistake that harms your baby, it can qualify as a birth injury. Issues can occur during prenatal care that cause the baby to be born with a medical condition, or something can go wrong during delivery.

If the mistake was preventable, you could have a claim for medical malpractice.

Contact a New Mexico Medical Malpractice Lawyer

When you suspect you or a family member is the victim of medical malpractice, it’s important to speak with a New Mexico medical malpractice lawyer right away.

The attorneys at Poulos & Coates have extensive experience in medical malpractice litigation, and one of our attorneys is a licensed medical doctor.

We understand what a terrifying time this is for you and your family and are here to help.

Our firm has over 70 years of combined litigation experience, and we are committed to holding medical providers accountable for their negligence.

Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation to learn more about how we can help you.

Author Photo

Greig Coates, M.D., J.D.

Over the last thirty years, Dr. Coates has successfully represented plaintiffs in every conceivable type of medical malpractice lawsuit–from single-physician cases, to complex litigation involving over a dozen doctors and several hospitals. Dr. Coates has taken several thousand physician depositions in his career involving every known physician specialty and sub-specialty, and almost as many depositions involving hospital personnel such as nurses, techs, and administrators. He has tried several dozen cases to successful verdicts.

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