medical malpractice

Who Can Be Held Liable for Medical Malpractice?

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Modern healthcare treatment often involves numerous professionals collaborating in treating one patient. Each one must follow accepted standards of care while doing their job. Failure to do so puts patients at risk of injury or death and exposes the healthcare professional to medical malpractice liability. 

Defining Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is medical error. But it is more than just a simple mistake. In New Mexico, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to maintain acceptable standards of care and a patient is injured as a result. 

This failure could be a direct negligent act or manifest as a failure to act or an omission. What exactly the accepted standard of care is, depends on the treatment in question.

How common is medical malpractice? According to numerous well-respected studies, medical malpractice is quite common. Some data puts the number of medical malpractice deaths in the U.S. at over 250,000

Who can be held liable for medical malpractice?

Any medical provider who is licensed by the state to engage in healthcare services can be sued for medical malpractice. Additionally, institutions that employ professional healthcare workers may also be held liable for medical malpractice committed by their staff.

The list of medical professionals who regularly treat or help treat patients is long and includes:

  • Medical doctors
  • Chiropractors
  • Psychiatrists
  • Nurses
  • Physician’s assistants
  • Dentists and dental hygienists 
  • Hospitals, care centers, and clinics
  • Medical device manufacturers and servicers
  • Physical therapists and rehabilitation workers
  • Social workers, counselors, and therapists
  • Lab technicians
  • Testing technicians (MRI, CT, PET)

Getting to the bottom of who caused an injury is a complex and involved process. It requires extensive medical knowledge, which is why victims of medical malpractice need an experienced medical malpractice attorney representing them.

Qualified Healthcare Provider

A qualified healthcare provider is a professional or entity that has purchased liability insurance as required by New Mexico medical malpractice laws. By complying with this insurance requirement, qualified healthcare providers enjoy caps on their liability for damages caused by medical malpractice. 

These caps include:

  • $600,000 compensation cap
  • $200,000 of future medical care paid from insurance

There are, however, no caps on punitive damages, which are appropriate when a defendant acted recklessly or intentionally. 

Instances of Medical Malpractice

Modern medicine can treat and sometimes cure all manner of illnesses and injuries from head to toe. Hence, the situations in which medical malpractice might occur are numerous. 

Some of the most common circumstances include:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Unnecessary, injurious testing
  • Failure to administer tests correctly
  • Prescribing the wrong medication
  • Medication administration errors
  • Surgical errors, such as wrong-site surgical errors
  • Failure to monitor a patient
  • Birth injuries
  • Defective medical products and equipment

In many cases, two or more types of medical malpractice occur and work in concert to cause serious injury or death in patients. 

Holding Medical Professionals Liable

Medical professionals enjoy prestige and great salaries. And with many benefits comes much responsibility. Injury victims should seek the services of a seasoned medical malpractice attorney who must initially obtain a ruling from a medical review commission that their case has merit. 

Once a ruling of merit has been made, your attorney can file your claim for compensation and begin negotiations with the insurance companies involved. 

The Hunt Law Firm fights to help personal injury victims recover the compensation that will help ease their suffering. We do not back down when our clients deserve more and will go to trial whenever necessary. 

If you or a loved one has experienced losses due to medical malpractice, call our office today for a free consultation and review of your case. We serve clients throughout the state, including Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Roswell, Los Alamos, and Las Vegas.