New Mexico Supreme Court Rules Medical Malpractice Caps Apply to Doctors’ Professional Businesses

file0001110988167 morguefile username mensatic.jpgThe New Mexico Supreme Court has ruled in three separate cases that businesses formed by physicians are subject to the same medical malpractice caps as individual doctors. According to the high court, professional corporations and limited liability companies established for business or tax purposes meet the definition of a health care provider under the 1978 Medical Malpractice Act (MMA). The 15-page opinion of the court stated that deciding otherwise would thwart the law’s purpose of ensuring that doctors and other medical providers in the state had access to malpractice insurance. Prior to the MMA’s enactment, some private insurers reportedly began refusing to write medical malpractice policies in New Mexico.

In 2011, the New Mexico Legislature passed a measure that would have made clear such corporate entities were in fact subject to the provisions of the MMA. Governor Susana Martinez later vetoed the bill that would also have increased medical malpractice damages caps across the state.

In New Mexico, medical malpractice occurs whenever a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other health care provider fails to adhere to a reasonable standard of care and a patient is harmed. Medical negligence may also arise from a medical provider’s failure to take a medically necessary or appropriate action in addition to an intentional or unintentional act. For example, malpractice may occur when a medical professional fails to offer a patient appropriate treatment, improperly diagnoses an illness, or unreasonably delays medical treatment.

Unfortunately, medical malpractice cases in our state can be difficult to prove and a victim’s financial recovery is limited by the MMA. In addition, whether or not your medical provider is a member of the New Mexico Patient Compensation Fund can also have an effect on an injured patient’s ability to recover for medical malpractice. The amount of time during which you have to file your medical negligence claim is limited. If you were hurt by an individual who was tasked with providing your health care, you should contact an experienced New Mexico medical malpractice attorney to discuss your rights as soon as you are able.

Please contact the Fine Law Firm if you were hurt or a loved one died after receiving negligent care from a New Mexico doctor, hospital, or other medical provider. Our committed Santa Fe medical malpractice lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience assisting the victims of health care provider negligence receive the damages they deserve. To schedule a free, confidential case evaluation with a caring advocate, do not hesitate to give the lawyers at the Fine Law Firm a call at (505) 889-3463 or contact us through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Five People Killed in Three Holiday Weekend New Mexico Rollover Accidents Were Not Buckled Up, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, September 10, 2013
Bicycle Rider Killed in Accident with Pick-Up on New Mexico State Road 136 in Santa Teresa, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, August 28, 2013
Additional Resources:

Court: Malpractice law covers doctors’ businesses, by Associated Press, Albuquerque Journal

Photo credit: mensatic, morgueFile