You expect doctors and other medical professionals to provide exemplary care in every instance. While it’s true that many hospitals and clinics go above and beyond when treating patients, serious issues and oversights can still occur. Additionally, these errors can directly affect the quality of care you receive and leave you with more ailments and symptoms.
In the event a patient has been harmed by inadequate care, they can file a medical malpractice suit against the healthcare provider who afforded treatment. These cases are often quite complex and require the help of an experienced lawyer to ensure the best possible outcome. However, patients should also know what to expect, so this guide explains a few important details.
Elements of a Medical Malpractice Case
In order for a malpractice suit to have merit, it must satisfy four elements:
- Duty of Care – This element refers to the existence of a doctor-patient relationship. For example, casual medical advice from a doctor at a party would not constitute malpractice if it caused harm.
- Breach of Duty – Your legal team must show that a medical professional deviated from the standard of care that would be provided by a reasonable doctor or other provider. This can include missed diagnosis, incorrect diagnosis, surgical errors, and other missteps.
- Direct Cause – You must also establish that the breach of duty directly caused any injuries or worsening conditions you experienced. You can also cite mental anguish as a direct result of the poor care.
- Damages – Finally, it must be shown that the issue led to quantifiable damages. This can include things like medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
What to Do If You’ve Been Injured by Poor Medical Care
You must contact the doctor or provider directly and explain what occurred. This must take place before you actually file suit against them. You can also contact the doctor’s licensing board if they’re generally unhelpful, as the licensing board can take steps to hold the provider accountable for their misdeeds.
At this point, you should consider contacting a law firm to discuss the next steps. Keep in mind that the statute of limitations in New Mexico is three years from when the instance of malpractice took place. It’s important to act within that time frame to ensure your case receives the attention it deserves.
Here at Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero, P.C., we have the experience necessary to handle even the most complex medical malpractice cases. We understand the fallout that can occur after receiving negligent care, which is why we insist on treating all clients with kindness and compassion.