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Albuquerque Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Albuquerque Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Being sick or injured is when we’re at our most vulnerable, and we seek out professional medical help, trusting that it will help. When medical professionals fail to provide acceptable standards of care, the consequences can be devastating for both patients and their families.

Not only do we have to deal with the physical pain and emotional suffering caused by medical negligence, but we may also face financial burdens, like unpaid medical bills, job loss, lost wages, and even funeral expenses.

If you find yourself in a situation like this, it’s vital to contact an Albuquerque medical malpractice lawyer.

The aftermath of medical malpractice can leave you mired in despair, depression, anger, frustration, guilt, grief, and debt. All of which can have a long-lasting impact on your health and well-being.

In such a situation, hiring a skilled medical malpractice lawyer in Albuquerque is a crucial first step to ensure not only that the negligent health care provider is held accountable but that you receive fair compensation for your pain and suffering.

Understanding Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice refers to the negligence or failure of a health care professional to provide the standard of care expected, resulting in harm. Health care providers may be found liable for a wide range of errors or negligent actions.

It’s important to understand the different types of medical malpractice cases so that you can recognize when legal action may be warranted.

Some common types of medical malpractice cases include:

Surgical Errors

Surgical errors are one of the most common types of medical malpractice.

These errors can include performing the wrong type of surgery, making anesthesia mistakes, or even leaving foreign objects inside the patient’s body (yes, it happens in around 1,500 cases per year!).

Birth Injuries

Newborns can suffer from two different types of medical problems: birth defects or birth injuries.

Birth injuries can have lifelong health consequences for both the baby and the mother. Injuries that can happen during childbirth include conditions like cerebral palsy, brachial plexus injuries, or maternal infections.

Understanding the difference between these two diagnoses is an important part of determining if you have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim.

Medication Mistakes

Medication mistakes are also a common form of medical malpractice and can range from prescribing the wrong medication to administering the wrong dosage.

7,000 to 9,000 people die in the U.S. each year as the direct result of medication errors, and hundreds of thousands more suffer from adverse reactions or other medication complications. Even more go unreported.

Medication mistakes can lead to serious, even life-threatening, reactions, including drug interactions, overdosing, and permanent health damage. If a doctor prescribes or a pharmacist dispenses the wrong medication to a patient, there’s also the risk that the patient has allergies or existing health conditions that could be worsened by their mistake.

Hiring an Albuquerque Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Dealing with the aftermath of medical malpractice can be overwhelming, not only physically but emotionally and financially as well.

An experienced medical malpractice attorney who specializes in these types of cases can provide expert guidance and support throughout the legal process.

They can also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, ensuring that you receive fair compensation for your medical malpractice injuries and help keep you from being pressured into a quick (and lower) settlement.

Your compensation should include complete coverage of your medical and legal expenses (both current and future), your lost wages, and any pain and suffering you’ve endured or will endure as a result of medical negligence.

That’s exactly what your medical malpractice attorney will fight for.

Factors To Consider When Hiring a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

One of the most important things to consider is a lawyer’s experience and track record in handling medical malpractice cases. Successful experience in medical malpractice cases ensures that your attorney understands the nuances of the complex legalities of these types of cases and knows how to navigate the legal battlefield accordingly.

Communication skills and reasonable availability are also essential qualities to consider when hiring a medical malpractice lawyer.

You’ll be working with this person, or team, very closely, possibly for an extended period of time, so it’s crucial to choose a lawyer who’s responsive and empathetic to your needs, keeps you informed throughout the entire legal process, and has a personality that suits yours.

A lawyer who can effectively communicate the progress of the case and answer any questions or concerns can provide you with invaluable peace of mind and an optimistic outlook in an otherwise dark time.

Steps Involved in Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

If you believe that you’ve suffered from medical malpractice, your first step is to consult with a medical malpractice attorney to evaluate the case and determine its viability.

Your Albuquerque medical malpractice lawyer will review your medical records, bills, receipts, and other relevant documents to assess the strength of the claim and prove that a health care provider (such as a doctor, nurse, or hospital) acted negligently, resulting in your harm or injury.

They will also consider the statute of limitations, which sets a time limit* for filing a lawsuit after the incident, and study other cases and laws that may be pertinent or supportive of your specific situation.

* The New Mexico Medical Professional Liability Act states (regarding the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit), “No claim for malpractice arising out of an act of malpractice may be brought against a health care provider unless filed within three years after the date that the act of malpractice occurred, except that a minor under the full age of six years shall have until the minor’s ninth birthday in which to file.” Section 41-5-13

Once they’ve established the viability of your case, your lawyer will begin collecting all necessary evidence to support your claim.

The specific types of evidence that may be considered can vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the jurisdiction, but generally, in addition to those listed above, the following types of evidence are commonly presented:

  • Expert Testimony: Expert witnesses, typically medical professionals with expertise in the same field as the defendant, are often called upon to provide testimony. They can help explain complex medical issues, assess the standard of care, and offer opinions on whether the defendant’s actions deviated from that standard.
  • Witness Testimony: Testimony from the patient, family members, or other individuals who were present during the medical procedure or treatment can provide valuable insight into what happened and the effects of the alleged malpractice.
  • Medical Guidelines and Protocols: Guidelines and protocols established by medical organizations and governing bodies may be introduced as evidence to show what the accepted standard of care was for a specific medical condition or procedure.
  • Documentation of Communication: Records of communication between the patient and health care provider, such as consent forms, discussion notes, and emails, can be used to establish what information was shared and what decisions were made regarding treatment.
  • Expert Reports: In addition to providing testimony, expert witnesses may also submit written reports outlining their opinions on the case, including whether they believe malpractice occurred.
  • Before-and-After Evidence: Comparative evidence, such as the patient’s medical condition before and after the alleged malpractice, can help demonstrate the extent of harm or injury.
  • Hospital Policies and Procedures: Hospital policies and procedures manuals may be introduced to show whether the facility had proper protocols in place and whether those protocols were followed.

After collecting evidence, the lawyer will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the health care provider or their insurance company that provides fair compensation for your damages.

If a settlement can’t be reached, your lawyer will file a lawsuit and prepare to represent you in court.

Throughout the legal process, your medical malpractice lawyer will handle all necessary paperwork, court filings, and communication with the opposing party.

They’ll also advocate for your rights and fight for the justice and compensation that you deserve.

Compensation Available in Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical expenses, both current and future, are one of the primary types of compensation available.

This includes reimbursement for medical treatments, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and any other necessary medical services. You should keep records of all medical expenses related to the malpractice incident to ensure that you’re compensated fairly.

Lost wages and diminished earning capacity are also factors to consider when seeking compensation.

If you’re unable to work or suffer a reduced ability to earn income due to the injuries caused by the medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for what you’ve lost, as well as the potential income you’ll miss in the future.

You may also be able to seek compensation for noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of quality of life. Noneconomic damages are harder to quantify, but their goal is to compensate you for the physical and emotional pain you’ve endured as a result of medical malpractice.

It should be noted that as of May 2023, New Mexico caps medical malpractice claims at $ 1 million for independent physicians and independently owned health care facilities.

Your medical malpractice lawyer can explain the specific types of compensation that may be available in your particular case.

Failure To Treat and Medical Malpractice

“Failure to treat” refers to a type of medical malpractice in which a health care provider fails to provide appropriate medical care or treatment, and this failure results in harm, injury, or the exacerbation of a pre-existing condition.

When health care providers fail to provide the necessary treatment or care promptly, the patient’s condition can worsen, leading to additional complications and prolonged recovery periods.

In some cases, failure to treat can even result in more invasive procedures to correct the initial error.

For example, if a health care provider fails to diagnose a heart condition and delays necessary treatment, the patient may require more invasive procedures, such as open-heart surgery, to address the worsening condition.

These procedures, of course, come with additional risks and the possibility of complications, adding to the physical and emotional burden on the patient.

If a health care provider’s negligence or neglect has resulted in worsened conditions, delayed recovery, or other adverse effects, that’s medical malpractice, and you need to hold the negligent party accountable up to and including the loss of medical license.

The New Mexico Department of Health, Division of Health Improvement, Health Facility Licensing & Certification Bureau defines “neglect” to mean “the failure to provide goods and services necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish, or mental illness.

It goes on to state that a medical license “may be denied, revoked or suspended, or intermediate sanctions or civil monetary penalties may be imposed after notice and opportunity for a hearing” for failure to provide “required care and services” ( NMAC)

Proving Medical Malpractice in a Lawsuit

First, it must be shown that a doctor-patient relationship existed. This relationship establishes the duty of care owed by the health care provider to you. Once this is established, your lawyer must then demonstrate that the health care provider breached the standard of care.

  • Standard of Care: The standard of care refers to the level of care that a reasonably competent health care professional in the same field would have provided under similar circumstances. Expert witnesses, such as medical professionals, can provide testimony to establish what would be considered the standard of care in your case and explain how your health care provider deviated from it.
  • Causation is another crucial element that must be proven in a medical malpractice lawsuit. A causal link needs to be established between the health care provider’s breach of the standard of care and your injuries or damages and any resulting injuries you suffered. Then, it must be proven that you’ve suffered quantifiable damages as a result of that medical malpractice.

Seeking Justice for Medical Malpractice Victims

Victims need a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice cases to navigate the legal complexities, build a strong case, and advocate for their rights. Medical malpractice lawyers can help victims seek fair compensation, covering medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages caused by medical negligence.

Medical malpractice can have severe consequences for patients and their families. When medical professionals fail to provide the expected standard of care, innocent lives are affected physically, emotionally, and financially.

Proving medical malpractice in a lawsuit can be challenging, requiring a thorough understanding of the legal requirements and the ability to gather and present compelling evidence. This is why hiring a skilled medical malpractice lawyer is crucial to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

Victims of medical malpractice in Albuquerque should seek the help of a reputable medical malpractice lawyer to navigate the legal process and fight for justice.

By understanding the different types of medical malpractice, the importance of hiring a lawyer, and the steps involved in filing a lawsuit, you can make informed decisions and take action to seek the compensation you deserve.

If you suspect that you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice, it’s essential to take action immediately. Consulting with a medical malpractice lawyer at Barrera Law Group LLC can provide clarity and guidance on the legal options available to you.

Contact us today to take the first steps towards justice and fair compensation.

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