Medical Malpractice can be hard to wrap your head around. You go in trusting that you will receive the best care from healthcare professionals and physicians, but that isn’t always the case.
You might not even realize that you haven’t received the best care or that the care has harmed you even more until after it occurs. The reason for this delay could be due to a variety of reasons, which means the statute of limitations can either be a blessing or a curse.
Our Las Cruces-based team at the Harmonson Law Firm has provided the following blog to help give you the basics about the New Mexico medical malpractice statute of limitations so that you can use them to get justice in a case of medical malpractice.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in New Mexico
A statute of limitations refers to how long you have to move forward with your case — as in an expiration date. In New Mexico, the general statute of limitations for medical malpractice is three years from when the mistake occurred.
Though the statute of limitations in New Mexico is three years, there are other components at play that you must be aware of, including:
- The time that the claim was discovered
- Whether the healthcare provider is a qualified healthcare provider under New Mexico’s Medical Malpractice Act
- Whether the healthcare provider is a public entity
What is the Discovery Rule?
Though the statute of limitations might have a three-year limit, the discovery rule could help extend this limit.
A discovery rule indicates that the statute of limitations on bringing a claim does not begin to run until the date when it was discovered or should have been. So rather than it being the date the injury or loss occurred due to a wrongful act that caused harm.
What constitutes a Qualified Healthcare Provider?
The discovery rule might not apply to all cases in New Mexico because of The Qualified Healthcare Provider Act, under the Medical Malpractice Act (Act), NMSA 1978, Sections 41-5-1 to -29.
Under the Act, if an individual or entity qualifies as a “qualified healthcare provider,” a patient or family member only has three years from the date of the malpractice to file suit, regardless of whether the malpractice was discovered or could have been discovered during this time.
Here’s an example: You discover harm done due to malpractice two years after the date it occurred. If the provider is covered under the Qualified Healthcare Provider Act, you still only have one year to file a claim.
Doctors pay to qualify for this Act, and if they do, it can make cases against medical malpractice complicated to navigate.
What happens if you miss the deadline for the statute of limitations in a New Mexico medical malpractice case?
Unfortunately, there are consequences if you miss the statute of limitations for medical malpractice. Courts are rigorous when it comes to the timeline and can throw out your case.
The best practice to make sure this doesn’t occur is to be diligent about your case, which can be difficult due to you attempting to navigate the harm done for you.
This is why it’s vital to have a lawyer who has years of experience helping in medical malpractice cases on your side. Our team at Harmonson Law Firm can help you navigate the ins and out of the statute of limitations, your recovery, and your case.
Contact The Harmonson Law Firm
We want to help ensure you receive the proper care while navigating your medical malpractice case and that deadlines for a statute of limitations. Call the Harmonson Law Firm today at (575) 208-2572 to get started.