Medical malpractice is a very serious problem in New Mexico and the United States generally. Preventable medical error is the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S. behind only heart disease and cancer. With estimates as high as 440,000 deaths per year from preventable medical error, it is safe to say that medical negligence has reached epidemic proportions.
Myths of Medical Malpractice
There is a broadly accepted myth that the medical community is under siege from frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Medical malpractice claims are very difficult and expensive to pursue. The biases are most definitely in favor of the offending medical care provider. After all, we all want to trust our doctors, nurses and other medical providers. Few attorneys will take these types of cases and those that do must screen out even seemingly meritorious cases. Consequently, in relation to the clear epidemic of cases of medical negligence, there is no corresponding epidemic of claims.
In fact, medical malpractice claims have been in steep decline for years. With 440,000 deaths and what might be expected to be exponentially higher injuries from preventable medical error, one would expect the number of claims to be very high. Likewise, the early estimates of 98,000 deaths per year from the Institute of Medical in 1998 have dwarfed since while the rate of claims has been going down.
These numbers completely defy the myths perpetuated by the medical community and more the point, there insurers.Unique, Sometimes Short, and Very Often Unfair Deadlines Apply to New Mexico Medical Malpractice Claims
Having said all that, it is important to know what to do in case of injury or death from medical error. In cases of medical negligence, it is equally important to act quickly.
Medical malpractice claims in New Mexico have many unique rules not applicable to other personal injury claims. This is especially so in case of the deadlines.
The deadlines can be short as in the case of claims against governmental healthcare providers. In these cases, the earliest deadline can run in as little as 90 days from the date of medical negligence. In addition, New Mexico (state, local and county) governmental providers get the benefit of a shortened 2 year statute of limitations versus the typical 3 year statute of limitations.
Worse yet, some deadlines may have passed in cases involving qualified healthcare providers before the patient even discovers the medical negligence even in cases where the patient has or will die as a result of the negligence. As such, it is critical to know how your medical provider is classified.
In addition to the issue of deadlines, there many other unique rules governing medical malpractice claims under the New Mexico Medical Malpractice Act. Suffice it to say that the cases are complex.
Medical Malpractice Claims are Difficult and Complex
There are numerous possible complications and variations of rules and deadlines related to any particular medical malpractice claim in New Mexico. It is extremely important to understand these the rules and follow them to the letter. Failure to do so will result in a bar to your legal claims
It is highly advisable to seek the advice of an experienced medical malpractice attorney. The Albuquerque attorneys at Collins & Collins, P.C. can be reached at (505) 242-5958.
To learn more about New Mexico medical malpractice claims:
Collected Reading on New Mexico Medical Malpractice from Collins & Collins, P.C.