Medical Malpractice Deadlines Challenge #1 is Figuring Out When They Begin to Run

There a number of important deadlines in a New Mexico medical malpractice case. Several are subject to special rules applicable only to medical malpractice claims or lawsuits.

The most important thing to know is that there can be some confusing interpretations of when the deadlines begin to run. For instance, the statute of limitations may run from the date of the medical negligence or from the date of discovery of the negligence. Which rule applies depends on the medical provider.

For Qualified Healthcare Provider, which means simply that the medical provider participates in a state sponsored malpractice insurance plan, the statute of limitations runs from the date of the incident. For other medical providers, the statute runs from the date of discovery.

This rule often results in cruel and unfair results for innocent patients. One example will illustrate the problem pretty clearly: negligent failure to diagnose cancer in a timely manner. By the time the patient and family realizes the error, it is often too later for the patient. In cases of a delay in discovery after the statute of limitations, the medical provider is off the hook.

This is upsetting to say the least. But a cynic might take it a bit further suggesting the rule itself discourages proper diagnosis when there was negligence, the medical providers realizes it, the patient has suffered irreparable harm and the statute of limitations is in the not too distant future.

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