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Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Medical malpractice is a type of negligence, often called “professional negligence.” Medical malpractice happens when a doctor fails to provide services as per the standards set by a governing body or most other practitioners in an area. Most doctors practice under a common “standard of care” for all patients. Standard of care means treatment that most reasonably prudent and responsible practitioners would do for a patient in similar circumstances.

In order to know whether or not you can file a medical malpractice claim, you must ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did the practitioner have a duty or obligation to you?
  • Did the practitioner breach this duty or obligation?
  • Did the breach of duty directly cause you harm?

If the answer to these 3 questions is “yes,” then you may have cause to pursue a personal injury claim. While most people make mistakes, doctors and other medical practitioners have people’s lives in their hands. Most medical negligence cases can also be easily prevented with more care and attention. Estimates show that almost 200,000 patients a year are killed by medical errors in the U.S. alone.

The court could award one of the several types of damages related to the harm caused—special, general, and punitive. Special damages directly relate to the injury or damage and have a specific dollar amount that you can reference. For example, special damages would be awarded for the total of your medical bills following the injury. General damages refer to pain and suffering or emotional harm that was caused by the medical malpractice. This amount is usually difficult to price. The last is imposed by the court in rare cases when the negligence was extreme. However, these awards are unique because negligence, by its nature, is unintentional.

You must also ensure you file a claim before the statute of limitations for a personal injury suit is up. In New Mexico, the statute of limitations is 3 years, which means you must submit a claim before 3 years passes after the date of your injury. However, the time limit doesn’t begin until the existence of the claim is discovered or should reasonably be discovered. For example, if your doctor commits an error that is found years later by another physician, you can still sue.

If you have questions about filing a claim, contact our experienced Albuquerque personal injury attorney. Our team at Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law will help you through this difficult time by helping you seek justice and pursue the benefits that are due to you. Our attorney treats his clients like a partner, an ally, and a friend, which means you will never be just another name on a case file. To get started, give us a call at (505) 219-2176 or fill out our online form to schedule your free case consultation today.

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