Every potential medical malpractice victim needs to know about the New Mexico Medical Malpractice Act. This law sets forth the rules and requirements for anyone planning to pursue a malpractice claim in New Mexico.
The provisions of this act can affect your ability to file a claim. If you’re the victim of medical malpractice, please contact the New Mexico medical malpractice lawyers at Poulos & Coates today.
What Is the Medical Malpractice Act in New Mexico?
Medical malpractice claims in New Mexico fall under this act found in the New Mexico Statutes. To bring a malpractice claim, you must show a provider’s negligent act or omission led to injury or death.
Successfully proving a malpractice claim requires you to establish the following elements:
- The healthcare provider owed you a duty;
- They breached this duty;
- You suffered direct injury or harm from the breach; and
- You sustained damages as a result of the breach.
Read on to learn more about some of the most important provisions of the act that will affect your potential medical malpractice claim.
Some healthcare providers might be “qualified healthcare providers” when purchasing malpractice liability insurance offered by the act. This distinction is important to note because it can impact the filing time for a lawsuit and your potential compensation.
Healthcare Provider Cap
The act caps the amount of most damage awards in medical malpractice cases. The cap is $600,000 for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. This cap excludes economic damages, such as medical treatment and ongoing rehabilitation.
Statute of Limitations
In New Mexico, the statute of limitations is three years from the alleged negligent act or omission date. This deadline applies to qualified providers.
For facilities and providers that fail to qualify under the rules, the statute will include time for the discovery rule. This means that the statute of limitations starts running on the date you knew or should have known about the malpractice.
If your claim involves a government or public entity, you only have 90 days to file a notice with the government entity and two years to file a lawsuit.
There are other possible exceptions to the filing deadline, which is why you should speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.
Medical Review Commission
Before you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit in court, the New Mexico Medical Review Commission (NMMRC) must analyze it. The NMMRC is an impartial panel of medical professionals and an attorney who will review your claim and determine whether it meets the necessary criteria for filing a lawsuit.
The panel will issue an opinion on whether the healthcare provider’s conduct constituted malpractice and if there is a reasonable medical probability that it caused your injury.
To file a claim for medical malpractice, you must gather all evidence supporting your allegation, such as medical records and billing.
Speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process.
Once you submit your claim for review, you must wait for the NMMRC’s decision. If the decision is favorable, you can proceed with filing a lawsuit.
If the decision is unfavorable, you can still proceed with a case. However, the negative opinion will be admitted as evidence in court.
The Patient Compensation Fund
Under the act, qualified physicians are limited to paying $200,000. Any additional compensation comes from the Patient Compensation Fund.
All qualified physicians pay into it annually through a surcharge. The fund pays out any additional awards above $200,000.
Contact a New Mexico Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Understanding all the provisions under New Mexico Medical Malpractice Act can be complicated. We recommend contacting a New Mexico medical malpractice lawyer for assistance.
At Poulos & Coates, we focus solely on medical malpractice claims. We even have a doctor and nurse on staff to help evaluate your claim.
You need the best legal representation when you’re the victim of medical malpractice in New Mexico. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation to learn how we can assist you.