What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical professionals, as well as the hospitals and clinics in which they practice, have a responsibility to their patients. Officially known as the standard of care, this code states those sworn to “first do no harm” are required to provide an adequate level of care for patients as compared to other professionals in their fields. When health care professionals and medical facilities fail to live up to these principles and a patient is harmed or lost as a result, this shortcoming could be the basis for a medical malpractice case.
Medical malpractice rarely occurs intentionally. In most instances, it’s a matter of insufficient skill, poor judgment, negligence, or other oversights. This branch of the law could also include nursing home abuse in some instances although this growing epidemic has become a category all its own. If you believe you or a loved one has been a victim of this type of personal injury, contact one of our New Mexico medical malpractice attorneys to discuss your case.
Is this a Common Problem?
A recent article in Forbes magazine noted medical malpractice could be responsible for up to 200,000 deaths across the nation annually, making this the third most prominent cause of death in the country. As far as nursing home abuse is concerned, approximately 10 percent of those living in long-term care facilities and relying on in-home care experience some form of mistreatment each year. Considering the sheer volume of patients visiting medical facilities or receiving other types of care, the issue is fairly sporadic. Still, at Robins Cloud LLP, our team of New Mexico medical malpractice attorneys believes even one incident is one too many.
What Types of Injuries Fall into this Category?
In essence, any type of health care-related misjudgment or ill intent resulting in the injury or death of a patient could be considered malpractice. Of course, a negligent act on its own or harm not directly connected to negligence would not stand in court. Both elements must be proven, and a direct link between them has to be established. Some of the most common cases our New Mexico medical malpractice lawyers handle are:
- Failure to diagnose a condition
- Surgical mistakes
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Improper dosage amounts
- Flawed anesthesia administration
- Deviation from proper protocol
- Failure to properly assess patients’ medical history
- Premature discharge from a hospital
- Lack of testing
- Inadequate follow-up care
- Failure to fully educate a patient about potential risks before a treatment or procedure
In cases where nursing home abuse is involved, dehydration, malnutrition, and failure to report injuries often play a role. It’s important to understand if your injuries are minor with no serious health repercussions to follow, you most likely don’t have a case. We gladly offer free consultations, so don’t hesitate to contact our New Mexico medical malpractice attorneys. We’ll explain the strength of your case as well as your options.
What Steps Should I Take after My Injury or the Death of a Loved One?
First and foremost, don’t jump directly into a lawsuit. Speak with the physician or facility responsible in a non-threatening manner to find out if the condition is reversible. Many professionals will take every possible measure to correct their mistakes and avoid having this type of blemish mar their reputations. Medical malpractice victims are held to a statute of limitations, though, so acting quickly afterward is crucial to your case. While the state of New Mexico does allow victims three years to file a claim, it’s best to get the process underway as soon as possible.
Regarding the statute of limitations, your three-year time frame begins when you realize, or should reasonably have recognized, a problem exists. In the event a surgeon amputated the wrong foot, for example, you would know immediately. On the other hand, if you were prescribed a potentially harmful medicationduring pregnancy and the health effects on your child didn’t surface until several years later, the three years wouldn’t apply until that point.
If contacting the responsible party doesn’t generate positive results, we’ll step in from there. We’ve developed a professional relationship with medical experts in all branches of the field. They can help build the foundation of your case by confirming the extent of your injuries as well as your health care provider’s role in the situation. Once that piece of the puzzle is in place, our New Mexico medical malpractice lawyer can move forward with your case. Damages may include:
- Lost wages due to the injury
- Loss of future earning potential
- Loss of quality of life
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering
- Medical expenses
- Cost of future treatments, procedures, medications, and other medical care needed due to the injury
- Punitive damages (reserved for cases in which the medical professional is proven to have exceeded the boundaries of common negligence)
Though some claims are settled justly out of court, our team of New Mexico medical malpractice lawyers stands ready to take your case to trial if need be to get the compensation you deserve. We’ll go through the prerequisite channels on your behalf before filing your claim to ensure all the necessary documentation is in order and appropriate legal protocols have been followed. When the time comes, we’ll secure expert medical witnesses from our network of authorities and stand up to the plaintiff’s legal team to reach the most favorable outcome for you.
Don’t Settle for Less than You Deserve
Medical professionals and the facilities employing them are well prepared in the event a malpractice claim comes to light. They’re typically quick to downplay the extent of patients’ injuries or offer a quick settlement in an effort to sweep these little “inconveniences” under the rug. Let us fight for you to ensure your situation isn’t whitewashed. You’re entitled to fair compensation for any physical, mental, and financial hardships you have and that will endure as a result of their negligence. You also deserve an experienced New Mexico medical malpractice attorney representing you with an unwavering resolve.
Call us at our Santa Fe or Albuquerque office or fill out the form we’ve provided on our website to find out how our New Mexico medical malpractice team can help you. Medical professionals are duty-bound to offer the highest level of care to their patients. When something goes wrong, we’re passionate about ensuring it’s made right.