What You Need to Know Before Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in New Mexico
When you get sick or injured in New Mexico, you trust medical professionals to care for you and help you get well. But sometimes doctors make mistakes and cause your illness or injury to get worse instead of better or even cause new illnesses or injuries. When this happens, you might need to file a medical malpractice claim to receive compensation for your expenses as well as your pain and suffering. Read on to find out what you need to know before filing a medical malpractice claim in New Mexico and how a lawyer at Carabin Shaw can help.Understanding Medical Malpractice in New Mexico
Before you file a lawsuit against a medical professional for malpractice, you should understand what constitutes medical malpractice, the time limits and requirements for filing a malpractice claim and what kind of damages you can recover from a claim. For a medical mistake to be considered malpractice, the medical professional must have violated the accepted standard of care when treating you. The standard of care is a technical term for the actions and treatment similar medical professionals would adhere to in the same circumstances. Your attorney has access to medical experts who can assess what the standard of care should have been in your case and if your treatment fell below that standard.
In addition to your treatment falling below the standard of care, the treatment you received or the lack of treatment must have caused you harm. For example, if your doctor made a mistake in treating you and that mistake was reasonably avoidable, your doctor’s treatment probably did not rise to the accepted standard of care. But it’s still not considered medical malpractice in New Mexico if you were not harmed by the mistake.Statute of Limitations
If you have been harmed by a medical mistake, you should contact New Mexico medical malpractice lawyers as soon as possible. In most lawsuits, there are statutes of limitations, which are time limits for filing a lawsuit. In a medical malpractice lawsuit in New Mexico, the statute of limitations is three years. This time limit usually begins on the date of the malpractice, so the clock is probably already ticking by the time you figure out you’ve been a victim of malpractice. If the suit is filed on behalf of a child who was under six years of age when the malpractice occurred, the statute of limitations runs until the child turns nine.
There are occasional exceptions to this time limit, such as when the harm you suffer from malpractice isn’t immediately apparent. These exceptions are rare, though, and you should not count on your case being one of them. Even if your case does turn out to be an exception, the sooner you contact an attorney, the more time you’ll have together to prepare your case. Our New Mexico hospital negligence attorneys have years of experience working within the statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases, so don’t hesitate to set up a free consultation today.Damage Caps
Damages is the legal term for compensation you receive in a civil lawsuit. The three types of damages you might receive in a medical malpractice are punitive, economic and noneconomic damages.
- Punitive damages are rare and are only awarded when the malpractice is particularly egregious in order to deter the defendant from committing similar acts in the future.
- Economic damages compensate you for quantifiable expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages. There is no cap on how much you can receive in economic damages.
- Noneconomic damages for medical malpractice in New Mexico have a cap of $600,000. Noneconomic damages include compensation for things that are not quantifiable, such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium. Your lawyer will assess your case and be able to tell you what kind of noneconomic damages you may be entitled to.
If you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, call Carabin Shaw today at 915-779-2301. Our New Mexico medical malpractice lawyers will provide you with a free consultation and explain the nuances of your malpractice case.