| Read Time: 4 minutes | Medical Malpractice
failure to treat

Medical errors account for an unnecessarily high number of deaths every year. In fact, some experts estimate that medical errors could be the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Failure to treat in New Mexico is one of the main reasons prospective clients hire our firm and file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Failure to treat refers to a doctor or medical professional’s failure to take the proper steps to diagnose or treat your condition.

If the failure was caused by a medical error or negligence, you may have a medical malpractice claim.  

At Poulos & Coates, our team of New Mexico medical malpractice lawyers routinely represents clients injured by negligent medical professionals. If you or someone you love suffered injuries due to a doctor’s failure to treat them, contact us.

In New Mexico, Can You Sue a Doctor for Not Properly Treating You?

Yes, if you can show the doctor made a medical mistake or failed to treat your condition, you could be entitled to collect compensation for your injuries.

A lawsuit won’t take away your pain or make your condition better, but it can help ease some of your financial woes. Before collecting any money in a lawsuit, you need to prove the elements of negligence.

The first element is to show that the doctor owed you a duty of care. If you are an established patient, then it is pretty straightforward.

However, suppose you had a passing conversation with a doctor at a social gathering, and they refused to treat you. That is not enough to establish a doctor-patient relationship.

Once you prove a doctor-patient relationship, you must show the doctor breached the standard of care. Your attorney will strive to build a case that shows a failure to treat.

Next, you must show causation. Causation means that your doctor’s failure to treat you is what led to your injuries.

The last element of medical negligence is damage. You must show that the doctor’s failure to treat in New Mexico resulted in financial losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, disability, etc.  

Types of Medical Negligence in New Mexico

Failure to treat” in the medical context refers to instances where healthcare providers fail in their duty to provide timely and appropriate medical care to patients. Numerous issues can give rise to medical malpractice claims, but some are more common than others. Three main types of medical negligence give rise to malpractice lawsuits—misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, failure to treat, and medication errors.

Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis

Providing medical treatment but doing so at a significantly slow pace, resulting in harm to the patient.

Examples include not recognizing symptoms and clinical signs of a condition, losing test results, not ordering the required tests or asking for additional information, not referring you to a specialist, and more.

Failure to Treat

Sometimes a doctor’s failure to treat results from having too many patients. The doctor may need to refer the patient to another provider who can provide the necessary treatment.

However, if a doctor fails to refer a patient, the delay could result in further injury. For example, if you are suffering from a condition that has a good prognosis if caught early, that delay could be the reason you are permanently disabled now.  

Doctors who are too busy are at risk of missing pertinent details. They might not let a patient know about all the treatment options or they might overlook something important on a chart because they are behind on appointments for the day.

Other times, a failure to treat may occur because a patient lacks updated insurance information or appears unable to pay for treatment. If a doctor’s office doesn’t treat a patient because they are waiting to determine a person’s financial situation, it could also lead to further harm.  

Emergency departments and hospitals are hectic and high-stress places, but that is no excuse for not treating a patient.

Neglecting to refer a patient to a specialist when necessary for their condition.

Some other common examples of failure to treat include not providing follow-up care instructions, discharging a patient too early, delaying necessary medical tests, or not treating life-threatening symptoms in the emergency room. 

Medication Errors

Medication errors can result in minor allergies or life-threatening reactions. That is why doctors must pay close attention when prescribing medication or changing a patient’s prescription. Failing to continuously monitor a patient with a known medical condition, potentially leading to complications.

When a doctor prescribes the wrong medication or dosage, doesn’t recognize drug interactions, or misses a person’s drug addiction, the victim could have a medical malpractice claim.

Haven’t Received Proper Medical Care? Contact Us for Expert Guidance!

Pursuing a claim for failure to treat in New Mexico can be complicated. Don’t attempt to go after your doctor’s office without legal representation. It is a complicated legal process.

You need an experienced personal injury law firm like Poulos Coates, LLP. We have over 70 years of combined experience and aren’t afraid to stand up to a large corporation. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.

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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