Over 100,000 people per year die in the United States due to medical errors—the equivalent of a jumbo jet crashing more than once per week.
New Mexico and Texas have two very different systems for medical malpractice cases. Texas law greatly favors healthcare providers and penalizes patients, in particular persons like students and stay-at-home mothers. New Mexico’s system prevents injured patients from receiving all of their damages in certain circumstances, but on the whole, is much more balanced and fairer than is Texas law.
In both states, to win a medical malpractice case, we must prove that the healthcare provider in question was negligent and that the negligence caused harm. There are nuances to these rules in each state, but these are the general elements.
In the area of recoverable damages, the laws of Texas and New Mexico diverge. In Texas, there is a cap of $250,000 for non-economic damages. Economic losses include lost earnings, lost earning capacity, and medical expenses. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, physical impairment, physical disfigurement, and mental anguish or emotional distress. In Texas, it is possible in some cases for the cap to be $500,000 – if a hospital and physician are both negligent.
Perrin Law Firm serves the needs of clients in Dallas & Fort Worth, Texas, as well as Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In New Mexico, the cap, if it applies, is $600,000, not including medical expenses. The cap applies, however, only to certain health care providers, almost always medical doctors, who have chosen to participate in the New Mexico statutory plan. If their insurer makes contributions to the Patient Compensation Fund, the doctor gets the benefit of the cap and any case against him must first be taken to the Medical Review Commission.
The decision of the Commission usually favors healthcare providers because of the nature of the rules under which it operates, but a negative finding before the Commission does not take away the right of an injured patient to file suit, and in almost every case in which the Panel ruled against our client, we have achieved a settlement or won a verdict at trial.
If a physician or hospital is not a qualified provider by making the contribution described above to the Patient Compensation Fund, there is no cap on the recovery.
Perrin Law Firm is proud to serve clients in both the Dallas & Fort Worth areas of Texas and the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas of New Mexico.