Thousands of people living in Albuquerque and surrounding communities trust all types of medical professionals to provide safe and effective treatment for their injuries and illnesses each year.
While most receive the care they need without issue, others unfortunately suffer harm due to the negligence of the medical providers treating them. The term “medical malpractice” applies to any incident in which a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional inflicts harm on a patient because of their failure to meet the patient’s standard of care. “Standard of care” refers to the baseline level of treatment a patient requires for their diagnosis.
It is important to understand the distinction between medical malpractice and medical negligence. Medical negligence would entail a lack of reasonable care and caution while administering medical treatment. Medical negligence becomes medical malpractice if the action causes harm to the patient. If you are unsure whether a recent injury qualifies as medical malpractice, it is vital to consult legal counsel as quickly as possible.
An Albuquerque medical malpractice lawyer is the ideal asset to have on your side after you have suffered any type of injury from medical negligence. You may have grounds to file a specific type of personal injury claim against the medical provider who injured you, but this type of case is very different from a standard personal injury claim. Berenson & Associates, PC, can provide the legal representation you need for a medical malpractice suit and help maximize your recovery.
Medicine is uncertain in various ways, and there is some degree of risk involved in almost every medical treatment. However, there is a major difference between an honest mistake made due to complex circumstances or a patient’s unique medical condition and an injury resulting from professional negligence. A few of the most commonly reported forms of medical malpractice in the Albuquerque, NM area include:
These are only a few examples. Ultimately, if you or a loved one suffered harm due to a medical professional’s actions in Albuquerque, you must consult an experienced attorney who can determine whether the situation constitutes malpractice.
Under state law, the statute of limitations for most medical malpractice claims is three years, starting on the date an injury occurs. However, if a child under the age of 18 was harmed by medical malpractice, this statute extends to one year from their 18th birthday.
The state currently enforces a total cap on damages in medical malpractice cases of $750,000, set to increase to $5,000,000 in 2024. This cap pertains to economic and non-economic damages with the exclusion of past and future medical care and related benefits.
This means that aside from the cost of corrective medical treatment you may need for your injury, the most you can currently claim for medical malpractice is $750,000 if the defendant is an independent medical provider.
If you are suing a hospital or an outpatient healthcare facility majority owned and controlled by a hospital, the damage cap is $4,500,000 for 2023, set to increase to $5,000,000 in 2024.
These caps apply to the economic damages you sustained aside from medical expenses, such as your lost income and lost earning capacity. The cap also applies to non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
The cap does not apply to punitive damages, however. While punitive damages are rarely awarded in medical malpractice claims, they could come into play if the defendant broke the law in causing the injury.
For example, if they attempted surgery while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and harmed the patient, they are likely to face criminal charges and punitive damages along with their civil liability.
Another issue to remember pertaining to compensation is the fact that the state limits any individual healthcare provider’s liability to $250,000. This means that if you are awarded more than this amount in your successful case, the remainder is paid from a state compensation fund specifically set up for patients injured by medical malpractice.
A medical malpractice suit is inherently more complex than a standard personal injury claim. While it is technically possible for an injured patient to pursue a medical malpractice claim on their own, they are unlikely to succeed without the help of a seasoned Albuquerque medical malpractice attorney. Success with their case requires meeting various strict procedural requirements, tight filing deadlines, and a keen awareness of the effects of medical malpractice.
If you have an experienced medical malpractice lawyer handling your case, you are more likely to succeed with your recovery efforts, and you will be able to focus on your recovery and personal needs as your attorney manages your case.
Your attorney can help prepare for your panel review with the New Mexico Medical Review Commission, gather evidence and testimony to support your case, and help uncover all the various damages you have sustained due to the defendant’s actions.
The team at Berenson & Associates, PC, has years of experience helping Albuquerque clients with all types of complex civil cases, including those filed under the state’s strict medical malpractice statutes. We will take time to carefully review the details of your situation and help formulate an effective legal strategy that aims for maximum recovery of your damages.
You have a limited time in which to file your case, and it is always preferable to start the claim filing process as quickly as possible after you have been injured by a medical professional. Contact Berenson & Associates, PC, today to schedule your consultation with an Albuquerque medical malpractice lawyer you can trust with your case.