| Read Time: 3 minutes | Medical Malpractice
malpractice in nursing

When you visit a hospital or medical facility for injuries or illness, you trust you’ll be in good hands with the medical professionals.

If you’re hospitalized, you’ll likely interact with nurses the most. A doctor will visit once or twice a day, but your main point of contact will be the nursing staff.

While most nurses treat patients to the best of their abilities, some are negligent.

When a patient is the victim of medical negligence, they might hire a nursing malpractice lawyer.

Read on for malpractice in nursing examples and why you should hire a medical malpractice attorney. 

If you have questions, please contact the nursing malpractice attorneys at Poulos & Coates today.

What Is Malpractice in Nursing?

Nursing malpractice, in the context of healthcare, refers to situations where a nurse deviates from the standard of care expected from a competent nurse in the same circumstances, resulting in harm or injury to the patient. It’s important to note that not every error or lapse in judgment constitutes malpractice; it is only considered malpractice when it leads to patient harm.

So, medical malpractice may be present if the nurse didn’t provide appropriate care and these actions led to the victim’s condition worsening or death. All medical professionals must adhere to a standard level of care, not only doctors. 

If professionals with similar experience and training had taken the same course of action, it might not be malpractice. However, if the nurse’s actions fell below the standard of care, they might be guilty of negligence. 

Examples of Nursing Malpractice 

Identifying whether a case involves medical negligence or malpractice hinges on closely examining various aspects. Occasionally, a situation may fall under both categories, involving considerations such as:

  1. What events preceded the error?
  2. The extent of the nurse’s understanding of potential outcomes prior to their actions.
  3. Adherence to or disregard of established protocols.
  4. The nurse’s commitment to delivering optimal medical care.

In the context of nursing, malpractice encompasses various instances of substandard care. Examples of nursing malpractice include:

  1. Medication Administration Failures: When a nurse improperly administers medication, leading to harm or complications for the patient.
  2. Botched Treatment: Instances where treatment procedures are carried out incorrectly, resulting in adverse outcomes.
  3. Failure to Provide Treatment: Neglecting to provide necessary medical care to patients, which can lead to worsening conditions.
  4. Failure to Monitor: Not adequately monitoring patients’ vital signs or condition changes, potentially causing harm.
  5. Failure to Accurately Update Patient Records: Inaccurate or incomplete documentation of a patient’s medical history and treatment, which can affect future care decisions.

These are specific examples that illustrate what constitutes nursing malpractice.

Negligence in nursing is very similar to medical malpractice in some respects. Before collecting any compensation, you must show that the nurse was responsible for your injuries. 

Nursing negligence may occur when a nurse, during a routine blood draw, accidentally damages a patient’s blood vessel, resulting in an injury. This can be considered a case of negligence. On the other hand, medical malpractice involves a nurse deviating from established protocols, often for the sake of saving time, and causing an injury during a medical procedure. This is a clear instance of medical malpractice.

Establishing a Nursing Malpractice Claim in New Mexico 

To establish a nurse is liable for your injuries, you must demonstrate four key factors: 

  • The nurse owed you some type of legal obligation as a patient,
  • Evidence of how the nurse breached this legal obligation,
  • The breach was responsible for your injuries, and
  • You have documentation of damages you sustained due to the nurse’s negligence. 

While establishing nursing negligence sounds simple, it’s often far more complicated. New Mexico is a pure comparative negligence state, which means you don’t have to prove the defendants were 100% negligent.

You can be partially at fault for your own injuries and still collect a portion of your compensation. That’s one of the many reasons you should consider hiring the New Mexico nursing malpractice lawyers at Poulos & Coates. 

Call us about your case so one of our attorneys at Poulos & Coates can get to work. Call now at 575-523-4444

New Mexico Statute of Limitations

You have limited time to bring a lawsuit in New Mexico. In most instances, you only have three years from the date of malpractice to file a lawsuit.

However, some exceptions could reduce or extend the amount of filing time. Determining the proper statute of limitations is tricky. Don’t risk jeopardizing your potential compensation by trying to represent yourself in a nursing malpractice lawsuit. 

Contact Our New Mexico Nursing Malpractice Lawyers 

If you or someone you love is the victim of nursing malpractice, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Poulos & Coates today.

We specialize in medical malpractice cases and have the expertise to help you build a strong case against the defendants. Schedule an initial consultation to learn more about how we can assist you. 

Directions to Our Las Cruces Office

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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