In the United States, the medical malpractice liability system has two primary objectives: to compensate patients who suffer injuries because of the negligence of their healthcare providers and to deter providers from engaging in negligent practices.
However, navigating the medical malpractice system in New Mexico is challenging.
Those who suffer injuries because of a negligent medical provider should consult an attorney to determine how to sue a hospital for malpractice.
The New Mexico Medical Malpractice Statute
New Mexico’s Medical Malpractice Act provides specific requirements on how to file a malpractice claim against a hospital.
The Act provides the elements of a medical malpractice claim, the procedural and statutory requirements, and the damages caps.
Elements of a New Mexico Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
In general, medical malpractice claims require the victim to establish three elements for a successful claim:
- The parties had a doctor-patient relationship that created a duty of care on the healthcare provider;
- The healthcare provider deviated from the generally accepted standard of care;
- The patient suffered injuries because of the healthcare provider’s actions.
Understanding that an undesirable outcome does not necessarily equate to medical malpractice is essential. In these cases, injury victims must generally present expert testimony to substantiate their claims.
Victims must also produce evidence of their damages. A New Mexico medical malpractice attorney can help injury victims and their families how to report a hospital for malpractice and recover damages for their injuries.
Statute of Limitations for New Mexico Medical Malpractice Claim
Like all states, New Mexico maintains a statute of limitations that provides the time a medical malpractice victim has to file a claim against a negligent provider.
Typically, the injured person must file their claim within three years of the date the malpractice occurred. While certain situations may warrant an extension of the limitations period, unlike many other states, New Mexico does not follow the discovery rule. Thus, timeliness is critical in these cases.
New Mexico Medical Review Commission
To file a malpractice claim against a hospital, New Mexico requires potential plaintiffs to submit their claims to the New Mexico Medical Review Commission.
While there is no official form, the panel requires the victim to include specific information regarding the circumstances of their claim. Typically these reports must include information such as:
- The name of the responsible healthcare provider,
- The specific date of the malpractice,
- A statement of the facts supporting the patient’s claims, and
- An authorization allowing the panel to access the patient’s medical records.
After the patient’s lawyer applies, the healthcare provider will receive a copy of the filing, and a hearing will occur.
At the hearing, the panel will determine whether the patient meets the statutory and evidentiary requirements. An attorney can help injury victims ensure that they meet these notice and filing requirements.
Damages Cap on New Mexico Medical Malpractice Awards
New Mexico’s damage caps apply to the total damages a victim incurs, except for past and future medical care and punitive damages.
Under the statute, there is a $600,000 damages cap for claims brought against providers if the injury or death occurred before January 1, 2022.
Further, the law provides different caps for certain healthcare facilities, depending on whether the facility is majority owned and controlled by a hospital.
Learn More About How to Sue a Hospital for Malpractice
If you believe that a New Mexico hospital or healthcare provider provided substandard care to you or a loved one, you may be able to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit.
At Poulos & Coates, LLP, we have over seven decades of experience helping patients and their families hold negligent providers accountable for the harm their actions caused.
We understand that this is an exceptionally difficult time for you and your family, and we want to do everything we can to help.
Our attorneys are compassionate advocates who put your needs first at every step of the process and tirelessly pursue the best possible result in your case.
To learn more and to schedule a free consultation, contact Poulos & Coates at 575-376-6600 today.