In a study, the CDC calculated that there were 125.7 million hospital visits made in the U.S. in 2015 and 922.6 million visits to a physician’s office. Among adults that year, 83.6% came in contact with a health care professional, and among children, 93% did. Residents of New Mexico can easily imagine that with so many people being treated, errors are likely to occur.

The reasons for a medical malpractice claim vary, but the two leading factors are surgical errors and diagnostic errors. The former is the leading cause of in-patient claims, and the latter that of out-patient claims. Those who feel they have grounds for a claim should know how the process normally goes.

First of all, this state has a three-year statute of limitations on malpractice claims. Victims may or may not want to contact the potential defendant for an explanation; they should know that this may initiate the limitations period. For example, an informal letter sent to a hospital demanding compensation can be regarded by the courts as a pre-suit notice letter.

Victims are also advised not to enter into settlement negotiations, be they formal or informal, with the potential defendant. They should not sign any documents or post on social media about what they went through. Having legal representation is advisable.

Victims may not know a lot about medical malpractice law, but the right attorney most likely will and may be able to apply the law during a thorough case evaluation. Victims may then learn how strong of a case they have and how much they might be eligible for in compensation. If their case is successful, victims may be reimbursed for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and more. The attorney may handle negotiations and litigate as a last resort.