New Mexico Medical Malpractice Lawyers
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Medical malpractice comes in all shapes and sizes. You may have had an egregious misdiagnosis, a botched plastic surgery, or someone you love was involved in an operation that turned fatal. Of course, you cannot sue every time a doctor makes a mistake, but a medical malpractice lawyer could help you decide whether you have a viable case. This article will help you begin exploring your options if you have been hurt by a doctor in New Mexico, as well as some of the most common medical malpractice cases.
If you or a loved one in New Mexico experienced medical malpractice, the lawyers at Zinda Law Group may be able to help. Call (800) 863-5312 to get a free case evaluation from a medical malpractice attorney near you.
Can I sue my doctor?
It would be appropriate for you to sue your doctor if your doctor has committed medical malpractice. Your doctor has committed medical malpractice if he or she has been medically negligent. Medical negligence, like any other kind of negligence, can be difficult to prove and involves several steps.
The first step is to prove that the doctor had a duty to provide you with a standard of care. Next, you must prove that your doctor breached his or her duty of care. Finally, you must show that you suffered an injury for which you can be compensated, and that the doctor’s breach caused your injury.
While it is best to trust a medical malpractice lawyer to guide you through your case, it may benefit you to know what the process will look like at each step.
Proving Your doctor’s required Duty of care
Healthcare providers may be negligent when they fail to uphold their duty to give you the proper standard of care. For medical professionals, the standard of care is that which the average qualified doctor within the same area of practice as your doctor provides to patients. Note that your doctor need not take the strictest precautions possible—those precautions need only be similar to what other doctors in the same field are taking.
Doctors using less-common practices and procedures do not necessarily violate the standard of care so long as those practices and procedures are generally accepted among other doctors in that field. Some examples of the duty of care in medical malpractice cases include following the correct procedures for administering anesthesia and performing surgeries and getting informed consent from the patient.
A Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help Prove Your Doctor Had a Duty of Care
Those who have been injured by a healthcare provider often have an expert witness who can testify about the appropriate standard of care that you should have received; a medical malpractice lawyer in New Mexico knows where to find good expert witnesses to help you win your case. A good expert witness practices in the same field of medicine as the doctor who caused your injury and performs similar procedures as the one that your doctor performed when he or she injured you. If you were hurt by a doctor in New Mexico, a good expert witness will also practice medicine in New Mexico.
Be certain that you have the appropriate paperwork as evidence that your doctor caused your injury. If you filled out consent forms or received information about the risks of your surgery, have copies available along with any bills you received and your missed wages from time off work.
Proving that your doctor Breached the duty of care
After you have established your doctor’s standard of care, the next step in your medical malpractice case is to show that your doctor breached his or her duty to provide you that standard of care. A doctor breaches the duty of the standard of care when he or she fails to take precautions that the average physician takes.
Therefore, you would need to use your evidence to show that, for example, the consent that your doctor obtained from you was uninformed or otherwise inadequate. Your doctor may have operated on the wrong body part or may have even closed up your incision after leaving medical tools inside of you. In each of these cases, the doctor has breached the duty of the standard of care.
Proving you have a Compensable Injury caused by your doctor’s breach of care
Last, you must prove two things about your injury: You must show that your doctor’s breach of the standard of care either directly or proximately caused your injury and that your injury is the type for which you can receive compensation.
The purpose of pursuing a medical malpractice claim under the law is to be made whole; in order to do this, courts award damages for all of the ways that you have been harmed if you win your case. As a victim of malpractice, you could be entitled to both economic and noneconomic damages. In some cases, the court determines that the doctor should be punished for cases that are particularly devastating for the victim as a way to deter other doctors from making the same errors.
Common examples of medical malpractice
We have already used some examples of medical malpractice to describe how to prove a medical negligence case, but the possibilities of how your doctor may have negligently harmed you are endless. The following examples are not the only ways a doctor can commit malpractice. Consult with a medical malpractice lawyer if you are unsure whether your experience qualifies you for compensation under the law.
- Failure to recognize a patient’s symptoms, which can lead to lack of treatment or improper treatment
- Failure to use the correct tests for your condition or treatment
- Failure to diagnose a patient, causing a lack of treatment
- Misdiagnosing a patient, causing inappropriate treatment
- Otherwise inappropriately or improperly treating a patient
- Failure to take a patient’s medical history into account
- Performing surgery that the patient does not need
- Making mistakes during surgery
- Making mistakes with the administration of anesthesia
- Using the wrong medication
- Using the wrong dosage of a medication
- Poor follow up after treatment or care
- Failure to follow up after treatment or care
- Providing a patient with inadequate information about the risks of a type of treatment or procedure
- Discharging a patient too soon
- Causing an infection while the patient is in the hospital
Again, these are just a few of the common kinds of malpractice that patients experience. If you do not see your case on the list, that does not preclude you from compensation.
When is my case not malpractice?
Not all cases of injuries from doctors are malpractice. You can withstand a serious injury from a surgery, for example, and still not be a victim of your doctor’s negligence if you were informed about the risks of injury from the surgery and you sustained an injury your doctor forewarned about.
However, if your injuries are more severe than the risk that you agreed to, you could still have a strong case. Look at all of the documentation you received and signed prior to your surgery to make sure that you did not consent to the risk that you could sustain your current injury.
Doctors have robust insurance and lawyers, usually through the hospitals they work in. Even doctors who have never had a medical malpractice claim filed against them will be well-situated to litigate against you.
It is worth noting that a bystander who tries to help you might not be medically negligent. If you are having an emergency and a “Good Samaritan” tries to help you out but makes the injury worse, then that person could be protected from legal action. There are exceptions to this, such as if you are not in imminent danger and the well-intentioned bystander injures you.
If the person who tried to help you caused your injury and made it worse by helping, then you can sue that person for negligence under New Mexico law. However, such cases are most likely to be a negligence claim rather than a medical malpractice case.
Our medical malpractice lawyers can help
You deserve to be treated with the compassion, sympathy, and professionalism that you did not receive from your doctor. Our skilled New Mexico medical malpractice attorneys can help you decide whether your case is strong enough to hold up against your doctor’s defense. If your surgery in New Mexico has gone wrong, call the Zinda Law Group attorneys at (800) 863-5312 in order to schedule your free consultation.
Our medical malpractice lawyers are ready to hear about the ways in which your doctor harmed you. We believe that you should not have to pay for your doctor’s negligence. As our client, you would be eligible for our No Win, No Fee Guarantee. That means that you do not pay us unless we win your case for you.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.