How Do I Know If I Have A Malpractice Case?
There are a number of factors that go into whether or not you have a medical malpractice case that an attorney will take. Medical malpractice is a result of a patient that was hurt by a doctor who failed to competently perform his or her assigned duties. You must consider the statutes of limitations for New Mexico Medical Malpractice cases first before taking action because if the statue of limitations is up you can no longer sue.
In order to prove 100% without a doubt that medical malpractice occurred you must provide evidence that a doctor-patient relationship existed in the first place. You must show in one form or another that the doctor or medical provider you are suing had a doctor-patient relationship with you. This means you saw the doctor and the doctor agreed to see you. If the doctor you saw treated you and you have evidence of the appointments where you went to see the doctor it is easy to prove a doctor to patient relationship existed. It is typically the case that when it is in question whether you saw the doctor is when the doctor did not actually treat you directly.
The next step to proving medical malpractice is deciding if the doctor was really negligent when they treated you. The doctor absolutely must have been negligent in connection to your treatment or diagnosis. You must prove that the doctor harmed you in a way that a competent doctor in the same position would not have. The doctors care is expected to be careful and skillful. This is often the sticking point of a malpractice claim. A doctor does not have to provide the best possible care to avoid a malpractice claim. In New Mexico, the patient must present a medical expert to discuss the appropriate medical standard of care and show how the doctor deviated from that standard.
Next the doctor’s negligence must have caused the injury. This is especially important to consider because many malpractice cases involve a patient who was already sick or hurt. Thus, did the doctors treatment actually cause any harm or was the injury already prevalent? Especially in cases of death, if the patient dies of their injuries or sickness, for example if they had cancer and received treatment for the cancer, it is going to be hard to blame that on the doctor even if they did do something negligent. It is going to look as if the cancer caused the death and not the doctor’s negligence. A medical expert will usually testify on behalf of the patient that the doctor’s negligence caused the injury. Without the medical experts input it is going to be a steep road to proving negligence on behalf of the doctor.
The next key aspects to look at is whether or not the injury to the patient causes specific damages. A doctor can perform below the standard of care in his or her profession and a patient will not be able to sue if they did not suffer any harm. Patients can sue doctors for malpractice for mental anguish, physical pain, medical bills, loss of a job and loss of earnings.
Now you should have a good idea of whether or not you should even pursue a medical malpractice case against your doctor or physician. If you have any questions about your situation and whether it’s malpractice feel free to reach out to our firm at (505) 242-7200. We are expert when it comes to malpractice cases and have dealt with hundreds of similar cases in the past. Remember, it’s better to seek out a malpractice lawyer to discuss your case at the very least before the statue of limitations is up.