A panel is selected after the application is received by the New Mexico Review Commission. A hearing will then take place at the office of the New Mexico Review Commission. As you will discover a hearing will take place within 60 days after the application has been received by the New Mexico Review Commission.
In no more than sixty days after the application has been received (unless there is good cause for a continuance), the commission will hold a hearing on the patient’s application. The director provides notice of the hearing to all parties involved. The hearing is typically held at the New Mexico Medical Review Commission’s offices in Albuquerque, New Mexico (although the statutes permit other locations in New Mexico for the hearing to be heard).
The hearings are informal and no “official” transcript of the hearing is made; however, any party may pay to have a court reporter transcribe the hearing. At least seven business days prior to the hearing, the director will provide a “panel pack” to the panel members which typically includes the patient’s application and the patient’s relevant medical records. The parties can then designate additional medical records that are relevant to the malpractice allegations.
The hearings usually start at 7:00 p.m. and conclude (hopefully) by 9:00 p.m. The only matters that may be presented at the hearing are the patient’s medical records, medical literature supporting either the patient or the healthcare provider’s position, arguments of counsel, facts witness (testifying under oath), occasionally written statements by treating providers, and potentially other matters (life care plans, etc. permitted by the chair). Expert testimony is not permitted and damages are not handled at issue the hearing. The hearings are confidential in nature and not open to the public.
At the hearing, the attorney bringing the case may make an opening statement about the case (usually referring to the medical records and medical literature), call witnesses, and provide other evidence as necessary. Typically, the patient’s attorney will utilize medical literature to demonstrate the standard of care owed by the medical provider and then use the medical records and testimony to demonstrate how the medical provider breached the standard of care. The panel may also question the attorney and witnesses during the patient’s attorney’s presentation. The doctor’s or healthcare provider’s may submit written questions to the chair and the chair will decide if and how to ask the question to the witness. During the patient’s case-in-chief, the healthcare provider will not be present in the hearing room.
After the patient’s case is concluded, the medical provider’s attorney can make an opening statement and present the medical provider’s defense. Just as the patient’s attorney does, the medical provider’s attorney is limited to using the medical records, medical literature, and witnesses (typically the medical provider themselves) to present the defense. The patient’s attorney can also direct written questions to the chair and the chair will determine how and if to ask the question of the provider’s witnesses. During the medical provider’s defense, the patient is not permitted in the hearing room.
Do you need an attorney to help represent you at a hearing with the New Mexico Review Commission once your case has been processed? At The Davis Kelin Law Firm, we understand malpractice cases from start to finish. The task is never too tall for us to tackle. Be sure to carefully consider who your legal representation is before going to a hearing with the New Mexico Review Commission. For the best outcome, retaining an experienced personal injury attorney is best. We can be reached at (505)242-7200.