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Medical Malpractice

Emergency Room Malpractice Legislation Change in New Mexico

By March 9, 2022No Comments

Cases like medical malpractice in New Mexico are complex, and it is important to us at Harmonson Law that our clients are aware of what they’re eligible for. 

For example, a recent legislation change in New Mexico has created a cap for how much compensation can be provided in cases of emergency room malpractice.

We want to keep our clients updated on their rights and abilities as we work with them to arrive at the best outcomes. Read on to learn more about this new policy in New Mexico.

What is emergency room malpractice in New Mexico?

Emergency room malpractice is a type of medical malpractice generally defined as some sort of mistake, mistreatment, or further damage caused to a patient in an emergency room situation. 

This type of malpractice is generally harder to prove than typical medical malpractice cases due to the hectic nature of emergency rooms and, typically, less paperwork involved. 

However, our team at Harmonson Law has vast experience in this area and is ready to help you show that emergency room doctors are still liable. You deserve compensation if you’ve encountered any kind of malpractice.

Examples of Potential Emergency Room Malpractice:

  • If a doctor fails to correctly diagnose and treat a patient.
    • Some of the most common misdiagnoses include:
      • Heart attacks in women
      • Pulmonary Embolism (arteries in the lungs become blocked by blood clot)
      • Chest pain (not a proper diagnosis)
      • Abdominal pain (not a proper diagnosis)
      • Misreading of X-rays
  • If there is an error in medication.
  • If there is premature hospital discharge.
  • If there is a surgical error.

How is malpractice decided in New Mexico?

Generally speaking, most medical malpractice cases against “qualified healthcare providers” start in front of a panel of doctors and lawyers in an administrative hearing before the New Mexico Medical Malpractice Commission. 

This administrative hearing isn’t binding, but it allows the lawyers for both sides to understand the strengths and weaknesses of a medical malpractice claim. 

From that point, the case will go to a lawsuit if the case is not settled.  Ultimately, if a settlement can’t be reached, it is up for a jury of your peers to decide on the merits and value of your case.  

The jury focuses on two main questions in their deliberation:

  • Did medical malpractice occur which caused your injuries?
  • If so, how much damages are you entitled to for those injuries?

What has changed about malpractice legislation?

Legislation has just been passed in New Mexico, effective January 1, 2022 significantly increasing the caps for how much compensation can be provided in cases of emergency room malpractice and other malpractice generally. 

The legislation states there will now be a “cap for legal damages available to people harmed by medical wrongdoing or negligence.”

The caps on damages for medical malpractice, which took effect January 1, 2022 for cases accruing on or after that date, increased from $600,000 to $750,000 for qualified individual providers. 

The caps for hospitals and outpatient treatment facilities and their employees and agents went from $600,000 to $4,000,000 on January 1, 2022 and will increase $500,000 annually until the cap reaches $6,000,000 in 2027.  Thereafter, there will be an annual cost of living increase.

What this means for medical malpractice cases

These new caps are a huge win for victims of medical malpractice in New Mexico.  Claims against hospitals and outpatient treatment facilities and their employees (like stand alone ERs) are much easier to pursue on behalf of people injured by medical malpractice in New Mexico.  Harmonson Law Firm is here to help you understand these new laws as they apply to your individual case and circumstance.

The comparative “cap” for emergency room malpractice in other states:

  • Texas – $250,000 (against each healthcare facility, not exceeding $500,000)
  • Oklahoma – $350,000 (with exceptions)
  • Arizona – no cap 
  • Kansas – $250,000-350,000 (depending on when malpractice took place)
  • Colorado – $1,000,000 (in total damages, $300,000 non economic damages)
  • Louisiana – $500,000
  • Arkansas – no cap

Contact Harmonson Law today

At Harmonson Law, our experience in medical malpractice cases allows us to focus our efforts on helping the seriously injured. We are determined to fight for your right to receive compensation in the event of malpractice, and will work with the legal proceedings that have recently transpired to get you the best deal we’re able to. Contact Harmonson Law today.

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