Healthcare providers are integral members of our communities. They are often on the front lines of providing care to our loved ones.
We rely on healthcare providers when we are faced with some of life’s most difficult and critical moments.
When we seek out care from our healthcare providers, we have the right to expect a certain level of care.
However, if a patient is harmed by improper, reckless, or negligent care, the healthcare provider must be held accountable.
A medical malpractice attorney in Las Cruces, NM, from the office of Poulos & Coates can help a victim and their loved ones seek justice if they are harmed by those they trusted the most.
To get started, contact our team today.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice arises when a healthcare provider’s action, inaction, or other deviation from the acceptable standards of care causes injury or death to their patient.
Healthcare providers have a responsibility to use the ordinary level of care of any other reasonable and qualified healthcare provider. Any medical provider who fails to meet this standard is negligent and must be held accountable if they cause injury to their patient.
How Do I Know If I Am a Victim of Medical Malpractice?
Sadly, an unfortunate medical outcome that results in permanent injury or death does not always constitute medical malpractice. To be medical malpractice, an injury must be the result of a healthcare provider’s deviation from the appropriate standard of care.
Who Is Considered a Healthcare Provider?
In New Mexico, a healthcare provider can be:
- A person,
- Facility, or
A provider may be licensed or certified to provide healthcare as any of the following:
- Doctor of medicine,
- Outpatient healthcare facility,
- Doctor of osteopathy,
- Nurse anesthetist,
- Physician’s assistant,
- Certified nurse practitioner,
- Clinical nurse specialist,
- Certified nurse-midwife, or
- Business entity that is organized to provide healthcare services.
There are many parties who may be liable in medical malpractice cases. A medical malpractice attorney in Las Cruces, NM, can help you hold the necessary parties accountable.
What Are Some Types of Medical Malpractice Claims?
All medical malpractice claims have unique facts, but most fall into one or more of the following categories:
- Failure to diagnose a critical condition,
- Failure to treat,
- Surgical or procedural error,
- Radiology error,
- Emergency room negligence,
- Injuries due to understaffing,
- Delayed diagnosis,
- Birth injuries,
- Pathology error,
- Nursing error,
- Prescription drug or medication error,
- Wrongful death,
- Non-compliance with policies, or
- Hospital negligence.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or an illness that may be related to a medical error, contact a Las Cruces medical malpractice attorney in our office.
How to Prove Medical Malpractice
A successful medical malpractice claim in New Mexico requires proof of:
- A doctor-patient relationship;
- That the doctor was negligent and breached their duty of care;
- That the patient suffered pain, injury, or illness as a result of the breach of duty; and
- That the patient’s pain, injury, or illness resulted in damages.
Unfortunately, proving medical malpractice often requires extensive investigations and research. It is essential to have the assistance of an experienced attorney to help you through this process.
How Do I Start a Medical Malpractice Action?
In New Mexico, before you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit in court, you must first file an application with the Medical Review Commission. The application is reviewed to determine whether there is substantial evidence that you were a victim of medical malpractice.
The Medical Review Commission also reviews the application to determine if you were likely injured because of the malpractice.
If the Medical Review Commission answers affirmatively to both questions, it will approve the application, and you may then file a medical malpractice lawsuit in court.
However, the Medical Review Commission’s decision is not admissible as evidence in any subsequent lawsuit filed. A Las Cruces medical malpractice attorney in our office has experience filing these applications and obtaining the necessary approval to file a lawsuit.
What Damages Are Available for Medical Malpractice?
In some medical malpractice cases, there are caps on damages. A cap on damages limits the amount of financial compensation you can receive in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Except for past and future medical care, damages awarded in medical malpractice actions in New Mexico are limited. Punitive damages, which are awarded in the most egregious cases, are also an exception to the general rule.
For medical malpractice claims that arose before January 1, 2022, the award recoverable cannot exceed $600,000.
For medical malpractice claims arising after January 1, 2022, the limit on the amount recoverable adjusts each year for inflation, beginning with $750,000 for claims arising during 2022.
A Las Cruces medical malpractice attorney can help you calculate the full value of your damages and fight for every dollar you deserve.
How Long Do I Have to Start a Medical Malpractice Action?
In New Mexico, with a few exceptions, you must file your action within three years of suffering from the injury or illness caused by the medical error. It is important not to wait to act if you think you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice.
How Can an Attorney at Poulos & Coates Help Me?
The attorneys at Poulos & Coates know that it is overwhelming and devastating when a person or their loved one is severely injured at the hands of a reckless or negligent medical provider.
The problems following a medical error often add up and can be too much to manage. Many victims have to deal with unpaid medical bills, rising debt, job loss, lost wages, funeral expenses, physical pain, and emotional distress.
However, you do not have to face these problems alone. An experienced and compassionate medical malpractice attorney in Las Cruces, NM in our office can help.
Help Identify Medical Malpractice
We have handled many medical malpractice cases with unique facts. If you are questioning whether you have a medical malpractice claim, our experienced attorneys can help you understand your rights under the law.
Provide Reliable Advice
We are trained to understand all aspects of medical malpractice law in New Mexico. The attorneys at Poulos & Coates are well-equipped to provide sound legal advice.
Build a Case
Medical malpractice cases often require significant preparation. Building a successful case usually requires requesting and examining medical records. You also have to find and interview medical experts to establish the standard of care in a given case.
Building a case may also involve reviewing hospital policies and practices. Our attorneys have extensive experience finding evidence and building successful medical malpractice cases.
The medical malpractice legal process in New Mexico can be complicated. Preparing a successful application for the Medical Review Commission often requires the skills and expertise of a trained Las Cruces medical malpractice attorney.
Proving the elements of a medical malpractice claim can also require the assistance of an attorney who understands the law.
Obtain Fair Outcomes Despite the Damages Cap
New Mexico’s cap on damages applies to lost past and future wages. The cap also applies to non-economic damages, like pain and suffering. However, past and future medical care are not capped.
Punitive damages are also not capped. A skilled and experienced medical malpractice attorney in Las Cruces, NM can help you obtain an outcome that meets your needs despite the cap.
The Attorneys at Poulos & Coates Can Help You Fight Your Medical Malpractice Case
When you have been harmed at the hands of a medical provider, you deserve a team that is committed to taking care of its clients.
Victims of medical malpractice need a Las Cruces medical malpractice attorney who is dedicated to delivering the best advocacy possible.
Our trial lawyers have more than 70 years of experience representing victims and their families. If you need help, contact us for a free consultation.