A state appellate court recently published an opinion in a medical negligence case stemming from a 2011 surgery. The case was brought by a couple after the wife underwent surgery at a local hospital and subsequently suffered a stroke. Approximately two years after the surgery, the couple brought a claim against the manufacturer of the medical device that the respondents used during the procedure. This lawsuit did not name the doctor who performed the surgery or the hospital where it was performed.
Several months later, and after the three-year statute of limitations had expired, the plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint. The couple wanted to add the doctor and hospital as new parties to the lawsuit under a medical malpractice theory. The hospital and doctor moved for summary judgment and argued that the statute of limitations barred the lawsuit because although the original case was filed before the statute of limitations had expired, the amended complaint naming them was untimely. The district court granted these motions, and the couple then appealed. The appellate court held that the defendants were correct and that the case against them should be dismissed
New Mexico Statute of Limitations Requirements
As you can see, statutes of limitations are strictly followed, and a lack of compliance can have disastrous consequences for a plaintiff’s case. Statutes of limitations outline the time that a potential plaintiff has to file or commence a civil lawsuit. The statute of limitations varies depending on the claim being asserted. Generally, the time begins to accrue on the date the claim arises, which usually means when the incident occurs. In almost all cases, if the statute of limitations has expired, the plaintiff cannot bring a lawsuit.
In New Mexico, if a victim or their representative wants to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit, they must do so within three years after the incident occurred or after they discovered the alleged malpractice. The reason medical malpractice tolling requirements vary is that in some cases a person will not be reasonably able to discover the malpractice until more than three years after the actual incident.
Have You Been Injured Due to Medical Malpractice in New Mexico?
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to what you believe was medical malpractice, you should strongly consider contacting one of the dedicated attorneys at the Fine Law Firm. These cases are highly complex, and it is important that all procedural guidelines are followed. This includes the statute of limitations. An attorney at the Fine Law Firm can help you determine if you are within your rights to sue and, if so, help you seek the compensation you deserve. Contact an attorney at the Fine Law Firm today at 800-640-6590 to schedule your free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
State Supreme Court Denies Governmental Immunity for Transportation Commission in Wrongful Death Claim, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 13, 2016.
State Supreme Court Finds Plaintiff Is Not Entitled to Relief Due to Recreational Use Statute, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, August 4, 2016.