In New Mexico, patients or their family members that require surgery or other medical treatment have a reasonable expectation that health care providers will treat them appropriately and accurately. Unfortunately, mistakes can be made during treatment, and they can sometimes result in grievous harm. In these situations, many file a medical malpractice lawsuit in order to rectify the physical, emotional and/or financial ramifications of these mistakes. It has been shown, however, that a simple apology from health care providers in these unfortunate situations can help litigation proceed more smoothly.

Most people prefer to avoid protracted lawsuits, especially after enduring surgery or another major health event. Recently, a woman sued her surgeon after she had the wrong organ removed, but only after the Ivy League hospital refused to admit guilt or offer restitution when she informally approached it. She then sought legal counsel and filed a suit against the hospital and surgeon, which is currently pending.

Conversely, an account from another top hospital demonstrates how a resolution can be reached without a drawn-out legal battle. In this instance, a nurse turned off the loud alarms connected to an infant’s heart monitor in order to allow his mother to rest. This also turned off the alerts to the nurses’ station and pager that would tell the providers there was an issue. Due to this error, the woman tragically lost her 20-month-old child when his heart stopped. The hospital promptly admitted guilt, gave her a full apology and also offered financial restitution.

Many believe that patients who sue hospitals or physicians are simply out to make money. This is the furthest thing from the truth for most patients. They simply want acknowledgement, an apology, and financial compensation for the harm that was done to them or their loved ones. People facing these situations in New Mexico may benefit from engaging an attorney who is well-versed in medical malpractice law and who can help them take the steps necessary for restitution.

Source: kutv.com, “Woman sues doctor not for removing wrong organ, but for what he didn’t say“, Elizabeth Cohen, March 28, 2016