Patients in New Mexico trust the expertise of doctors and other medical professionals when they are suffering from a medical issue. Unfortunately, that trust is sometimes misplaced. At Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm, our Albuquerque medical malpractice attorneys have seen time and time again how doctors fail their patients.
Unlike other types of personal injury cases, medical malpractice lawsuits can be exceptionally complex and may take years to fully settle. If you’ve been harmed because of a health care provider’s error, you’ll want to align yourself with a personal injury law office that prioritizes your case.
Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm is conveniently located in Albuquerque, NM, serving both the surrounding area as well as the rest of the state. Our trial lawyers are standing by to speak with you during your free initial consultation.
Medical Malpractice in New Mexico
Medical malpractice is shockingly common. A 2016 study from Johns Hopkins determined that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in America, outpaced only by heart disease and cancer. Approximately 250,000 deaths are caused by medical errors every year.
New Mexico health care providers are required to adhere to the accepted standards of care when treating patients. Adhering to the standard of care means that a doctor must act in accordance with how the majority of physicians would handle a similar situation when it comes to diagnosing and treating. If your doctor failed to treat you according to the standard of care and you were harmed as a result, you may be owed compensation for medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice cases can be difficult to negotiate and litigate because of the proof that’s required. A medical expert witness is almost always needed, which can be expensive and hard to find. The defendant in your particular claim could also vary or potentially include multiple people or entities, such as a doctor, hospital, medical facility, or more. The only way to successfully navigate this type of claim is to work with an Albuquerque medical malpractice attorney.
Medical Malpractice Claims We Handle
While the details of your medical malpractice case will certainly be unique to you and your situation, you can rest assured that our medical malpractice attorneys have worked on a wide variety of cases. Our years of representing clients harmed by a medical professional gives us the foundation and experience necessary to secure the compensation that our clients deserve. Below is an incomplete list of some of the most common medical malpractice claims that we handle.
Diagnostic errors typically fall into one of two categories—misdiagnoses and missed diagnoses. Here is the difference between the two:
- A misdiagnosis is when a doctor incorrectly diagnoses a patient with a condition they are not suffering from, typically mistaking their actual illness for another.
- A missed diagnosis is when a doctor does not diagnose a patient as suffering from any type of health condition despite the presence of symptoms.
You might also hear these types of diagnostic errors referred to as a delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose. Any time that you are not correctly diagnosed creates an opportunity for further harm. You may miss out on small windows of opportunity to treat an illness early on, or may be prescribed medication that furthers existing health issues.
A surgical error is a medical error that occurs during surgery. The aftermath of such a medical error is often severe, and we have worked with victims who suffered injuries due to:
- Wrong-site surgery (operating on the wrong body part)
- Foreign objects left behind after surgery
- Unnecessary surgeries
- Failure to obtain informed consent
A birth injury can be a traumatizing event for an entire family, and may leave a newborn child with a lifetime of health issues, physical pain, and more. If a medical professional failed to monitor your child during labor or waited too long to perform a cesarean section, an experienced medical malpractice attorney will help you obtain compensation for the harm they caused, including:
- Brachial palsy
- Cerebral palsy
- Facial paralysis
- Forceps injuries
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage
Medication is often a crucial part of medical treatment plans. When there is an error in prescribing, filling, or administering a prescription drug, serious injury can occur. You do not have to accept medical treatment mistakes as a necessary risk for seeking treatment with your doctor or at a hospital. Our law office will partner with medical experts to show how you were harmed and how that harm should have been prevented.
Medical Record Errors
It is essential that your doctor have access to your accurate and complete medical history when treating you. Any error in your medical records could give your healthcare provider an incomplete view of your overall health and current condition. Some of the most common places we see medical record errors include incorrect or missing:
- Drug or food allergy information
- Lab results
- Medication information
Doctor offices, outpatient facilities, hospitals, and all medical facilities must properly sanitize tools and surfaces to prevent cross contamination between patients. Any lapse in sanitizing may allow for the transmission of diseases, infections, and pathogens. Cross contamination can cause serious medical complications among even healthy patients, and may be fatal for those who are immunocompromised.
When a medical mistake is so severe that it causes the death of a patient, you’ll need to work with a medical malpractice lawyer who is also experienced in wrongful death cases. At Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm, our attorneys have dedicated their professional careers to holding negligent medical professionals responsible for the harm that they have caused. If your loved one was killed by the wrongful actions of a healthcare provider, you deserve the guidance of an attorney who has the experience, knowledge, and compassion to secure fair compensation on behalf of your loved one’s estate.
Causes of Medical Malpractice
There is no one, single cause of medical malpractice. However, in our years of serving those who have been harmed by the medical community, we have identified some of the most common contributing factors:
- Incompetence or insufficient training
- On-the-job drug or alcohol use
- Poor communication
- Staffing shortages
None of the above are excuses for medical negligence. No matter the reason, you may be owed compensation if you were harmed by a health care professional.
Damages Available in a Medical Malpractice Claim
In a medical malpractice lawsuit, damages are monetary awards for the harm you have suffered. Damages are often divided into two categories–economic and non economic.
Economic damages address the financial losses you have suffered as a result of medical negligence or harm. They often include:
- Lost income
- Reduced earning capacity
- Medical bills
- The cost of upgrading your home or vehicle to accommodate your injury or disability
Non Economic Damages
Non economic damages cover the non-financial harm you suffered as the result of negligent medical care. It is important to work with a medical malpractice attorney who is experienced in identifying and calculating non economic damages, so you do not miss out on vital compensation for things like:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment in life
In rare cases, it may be appropriate to award punitive damages. These are intended to punish the at-fault party for especially egregious behavior. Under New Mexico state law, these types of damages may only be awarded in cases where the negligent party acted particularly recklessly or intentionally. Check with your medical malpractice lawyer if you are uncertain whether your case meets the standards for such damages.
What To Do if You Believe You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim
If you were injured while seeking medical care and are now dealing with things like lost wages, related bills, emotional distress, and more, you are not without options. New Mexico state law allows for three years from the date that the malpractice occurred to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Three years is not a long time when it comes to filing medical malpractice cases, though. It takes time to build a strong medical malpractice claim, which is why our law office advises taking the following steps in as timely a manner as possible.
Begin documenting everything as soon as it becomes clear that you were harmed. Write down the date and time of every doctor’s appointment, who you saw, what you discussed, what medications you were prescribed, and any other related information. You should also request a hard copy of your medical records, as your Albuquerque medical malpractice attorney can use the information it contains to help substantiate your claim.
Seek a Second Opinion
Your health is your number one priority. You should seek a second opinion if you believe you were incorrectly diagnosed, given the wrong medication, or otherwise harmed by your treating doctor. Be sure to let your new doctor know what you have been through and clearly express your concerns over being mistreated in the past.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
The idea of filing a medical malpractice claim on your own may feel understandably daunting. The good news is that you do not have to go through this process on your own. A medical malpractice attorney can provide the support, guidance, and knowledge you need to pursue your malpractice claim to the most successful end possible.
Why Choose Our Albuquerque Medical Malpractice Attorneys?
When looking for medical malpractice lawyers in Albuquerque, NM, you’ll want to be sure that you can trust the people who will be taking on your case. One thing that sets Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm apart from the competition is our unrivaled dedication to honest communication with our clients. When you choose to align yourself with our attorneys, you’ll never have to wonder how your case is going or whether there is anything more that you could be doing.
Our attorneys are also seasoned trial lawyers. While most medical malpractice cases are settled outside of court, we’ll prepare for the possibility of things going to trial. In us, you’ll find accomplished attorneys with proven track records who will work tirelessly to secure you the rightful compensation you deserve.
We value the attorney client relationship, so know that your well being will always be our priority.
Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyers Helping New Mexico Families
Whether you were injured during a medical procedure or your cancer was allowed to grow unchecked after a misdiagnosis, Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm is here for you. As a top personal injury law firm in New Mexico, we take matters of medical malpractice seriously, and we do not rest until justice is served.
Time is already running out on your ability to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Don’t lose your right to compensation, contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options.