Health Care Facility Liability During COVID-19

New Mexico Attorneys Skilled in Medical Malpractice Claims

The COVID-19 pandemic caught many health care facilities off guard, placing a strain on their resources and ability to treat patients. Health care facilities have a duty to provide competent care, however, and can be held accountable for any harm suffered when they fail to comply with their duties. Therefore, anyone harmed by a health care facility’s negligence during COVID-19 may be owed damages. At the Branch Law Firm, our Albuquerque medical malpractice attorneys can establish health care facility liability during COVID-19. We are skilled at handling complex claims and can set forth persuasive evidence to help you show that the health care facility that caused your harm should be held accountable.

Health Care Facility Liability During COVID-19

Health care facilities are covered by New Mexico medical malpractice laws. Thus, if a health care facility harms a patient, it may be liable for medical malpractice. Generally, regardless of the precise nature of the harm alleged, a plaintiff seeking damages from a health care facility must show that the facility had a duty recognized by law, the facility departed from the accepted standard of care for the practice of medicine in the community, amounting to a breach of the duty, and the plaintiff suffered harm due to the breach.

Numerous acts may expose a health care facility to liability for medical malpractice during COVID-19. If a health care facility lacked proper resources to protect patient health and safety during the pandemic, this may constitute medical malpractice. For example, if a health care facility did not have ventilators needed to assist patients with breathing, or medication needed to treat patients with COVID-19, it may be held liable for malpractice. Likewise, if a health care facility lacked sufficient personal protective equipment to stop the spread of COVID-19, or failed to engage in actions needed to stop or slow the spread of COVID-19, such as thoroughly sanitizing common areas and quarantining coronavirus patients, this may constitute malpractice as well.

Additionally, a health care facility such as a hospital may be held liable for harm caused by the negligence of an employee of the hospital, such as a doctor or nurse, if the harm occurred while the employee was acting within the scope of his or her employment. Thus, if a doctor fails to diagnose a person with COVID-19, the hospital that employs the doctor may be liable in addition to the doctor. However, if the person who provided negligent care to a patient was not an employee of a health care facility, the health care facility may not be deemed responsible for the patient’s harm. For example, if a doctor was working as an independent contractor or a volunteer, the patient may not be able to recover damages from the facility where the doctor worked.

Damages Recoverable from Health Care Facilities

A patient who proves health care facility liability during COVID-19 may be owed compensation for the damages suffered because of the malpractice, such as the cost of any medical treatment needed for their injuries or illnesses, the cost of future treatment, out of pocket expenses, and compensation for lost wages. Generally, a patient also will be awarded damages for the pain and suffering caused by his or her illness.

Contact a Dedicated Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Although the COVID-19 pandemic changed many aspects of health care, it did not eliminate the duties that health care facilities owe to their patients. Thus, if you suffered harm due to a health care facility’s negligence during COVID-19, you should explore whether you may be able to pursue claims for compensation. The New Mexico attorneys at the Branch Law Firm have ample experience helping people strive to hold health care facilities accountable. We have an office in Santa Fe and an office in Albuquerque, and we assist injured people in lawsuits in cities throughout New Mexico, including Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Roswell, Clovis, Hobbs, Los Alamos, Rio Rancho, Alamogordo, Las Vegas, Santa Fe, Carlsbad, Taos, Farmington, and Los Lunas. You can contact the Branch Law Firm through our online form or at (800) 828-4529 to schedule a conference.