New Mexico Birth Injury Lawyer

The birth of a child should be a cause for celebration, but unfortunately, thousands of families across the state and throughout the United States experience birth injuries in various ways, sometimes resulting in tragic effects. If your family has experienced a birth injury that has negatively affected the newborn and/or the mother, it is vital to know the value of working with a New Mexico birth injury lawyer in your efforts to recover compensation for the incident.

Experienced Legal Counsel for Birth Injury Claims in New Mexico

The Branch Law Firm has decades of professional experience resolving all types of medical malpractice and personal injury claims on behalf of clients throughout the state. Birth injury claims are inherently challenging in many ways, and if you expect to face such a case in the near future, it is crucial to have legal counsel you trust on your side. The right attorney can make handling your case much easier and help you achieve a positive outcome.

Our firm approaches every case with the goal of helping our client maximize their recovery in the shortest possible timeframe while securing maximum compensation for their damages. A birth injury claim is likely to fall within the extent of the state’s medical malpractice laws, and filing this type of case is very different from filing a standard personal injury suit. We can help you understand the procedural rules you must follow to file this type of case.

You can rely on your New Mexico birth injury lawyer to help gather the evidence needed to prove that your birth injury resulted from medical malpractice, that the party responsible for the injury was negligent in a manner that directly resulted in your damages, and they can help prove the true extent of those damages. State law imposes some restrictions on compensation for medical malpractice that your attorney can explain in detail.

Ultimately, a medical malpractice suit is one of the most challenging types of personal injury claims anyone can file. Having trustworthy legal counsel on your side for this type of claim will dramatically improve your chances of success and the likelihood of maximizing the case award you obtain from the defendant. The Branch Law Firm is ready to provide the compassionate legal counsel you need for this difficult type of case.

Common Types of Birth Injuries in New Mexico

A birth injury claim can pertain to any type of injury suffered by a newborn and/or the mother before or during childbirth. While it is possible for a birth injury to happen due to forces that no one can predict or control, it is also possible for these injuries to happen because of medical negligence. When medical negligence causes harm to a patient, it is medical malpractice and grounds for a civil suit.

Some of the most commonly cited types of birth injuries include:

This is not an exhaustive list of all the possible birth injuries a family might experience, and there is a degree of uncertainty involved with every type of medical procedure. However, there is a clear difference between an injury caused by unpredictable variables and an injury resulting from medical negligence. If you believe your situation is a case of the latter, it is crucial that you speak with an experienced New Mexico birth injury lawyer as quickly as possible.

Potential Effects of a Birth Injury

One of the most difficult aspects of any birth injury claim is the fact that if a baby is injured, the effects of the injury may interfere with their development in many ways for years to come. For example, cerebral palsy is one of the most common birth injuries in the United States, and it is possible for this condition to cause a wide range of physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities. The family could face years of their child having advanced medical complications.

The parents of an injured child may need to completely overhaul their typical schedule to address their child’s medical needs. For example, one parent may need to stop working to provide constant in-home care for the child. If a birth injury case involves severe injury to the mother, she may be unable to work in the future, or it is possible for the mother to suffer a fatal injury because of medical malpractice.

There is a significant physical toll the family will experience because of the birth injury, but it is also a psychologically damaging experience. A traumatic injury during the birth of a child can completely change the family’s life and impose long-term or permanent burdens on them in many ways. Due to the profound effects a birth injury may have, it is crucial for an affected family to have legal counsel they can trust on their side as they seek legal recourse.

Building Your Birth Injury Claim in New Mexico

New Mexico enforces strict rules regarding medical malpractice cases. While these cases are technically personal injury claims, they are treated differently by the court, and there are special procedural rules you must understand if you intend to file this type of claim. Your New Mexico birth injury lawyer can be an invaluable resource when it comes to navigating these procedural rules and helping you file your claim successfully.

First, it is important to understand how the statute of limitations works for medical malpractice suits. The standard statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim in the state is three years, and this time limit starts on the date an injury occurs. However, there are a few exceptions to this. When it comes to birth injuries, the statute of limitations extends to one year following the injured child’s 18th birthday.

If you attempt to file a medical malpractice suit after the statutory deadline has passed, the defendant is likely to enter a motion to dismiss your claim, which the court will likely grant. While the statute of limitations may appear to be generous for your case, it is vital that you start building the claim with the help of an attorney as quickly as possible once you recognize that your birth injury resulted from medical malpractice.

When you believe you have the foundational evidence required for your claim, you will need to apply for review by the state Medical Review Commission. The commission will then organize a review panel to investigate your claim, which will consist of three medical professionals and three attorneys approved by the commission. This panel will need to answer two questions in their review process:

  1. Is there evidence that medical malpractice occurred?
  2. Is there a reasonable medical probability that the medical malpractice caused substantial harm?

If the panel rules in favor of the claimant, it is important for the claimant to understand that the panel’s decision is not admissible in their medical malpractice lawsuit. Instead, the panel will work directly with the claimant to help them arrange for expert witness testimony. An expert witness must have medical credentials similar to those of the defendant, and they must provide a detailed explanation of how the defendant failed to meet the patient’s standard of care.

It is important to note that the statute of limitations tolls or pauses while the Medical Review Commission reviews the case, and the statute of limitations will resume 30 days after the panel has delivered its decision. If the panel rules in your favor, your New Mexico birth injury lawyer can prepare you for the next steps you will need to take with your claim.

Damages in New Mexico Birth Injury Cases

The objective of any personal injury suit is to recover compensation for the damages the defendant caused. The same is true of a medical malpractice suit, but state law limits plaintiff recovery in these cases. There are limits to how much compensation you could secure for a successful birth injury claim, and your attorney can explain how these limits apply to your recovery.

Compensatory damages in a birth injury suit pertain to the direct financial losses the family experienced because of the injury. While state law limits compensation for the family’s lost income and lost future earning power, there is no limit on medical expenses resulting from the malpractice. If your child suffered a birth injury, the defendant is liable for all immediate and future medical care they will require for their condition.

It is also possible to claim compensation for pain and suffering, but this is again limited by state law. Your New Mexico birth injury lawyer can assist you in maximizing this aspect of your recovery as much as possible. Finally, you could potentially secure punitive damages. This is especially likely if the defendant was egregiously negligent, broke the law, or engaged in any concealment of their actions.

If the defendant did engage in any such behavior, they face severe professional consequences and may also face criminal prosecution. It’s possible for a doctor or other healthcare professional to lose their medical license if they severely harmed a patient due to egregious negligence or if they actively worked to conceal the harm they had done. Your attorney can explain how any such variables in your case may influence your recovery.

State law also enforces additional limits on damages when it comes to the defendant’s individual liability for a plaintiff’s damages. Generally, the defendant will be forced to pay only a portion of the total compensation to the plaintiff. The rest of the case award will come out of a state compensation fund intended for victims of medical malpractice. Different rules exist for defendant healthcare companies that are not majority-owned and controlled by hospitals.

Settling Your New Mexico Birth Injury Claim

If you successfully obtain approval from the Medical Review Commission for your medical malpractice claim, your attorney can help secure expert witness testimony and take the next important steps in your recovery process. If a defendant has been deemed liable for the birth injury your family experienced, your case will likely proceed to settlement negotiations. However, this process can resolve your claim only if both parties are willing to compromise.

During settlement negotiations, the plaintiff and the defendant meet privately alongside their respective attorneys to negotiate a mutually acceptable set of terms for resolving the case. Generally, most defendants will seek swift settlements to avoid the additional expense and time commitment that litigation would require. As long as both parties are open to negotiations, it is possible to resolve a birth injury claim through a private settlement process.

However, not all birth injury claims can be resolved through private settlement. It is possible for a defendant to deny liability or disagree with the extent of damages sought by the plaintiff. In these situations, cases proceed to litigation. This is a more complex and time-consuming process that will unfold under a judge or jury. The court will consider arguments and evidence presented by both sides before making a ruling on the case.

How Your New Mexico Birth Injury Attorney Can Help

Experienced legal counsel you trust will be an invaluable asset to have on your side, no matter what your birth injury claim entails. Every such case is an inherently emotional issue for the affected family, and attempting to navigate complex court procedures while also managing the aftermath of a birth injury would be too much for any family to handle successfully on their own.

Working with an experienced New Mexico birth injury lawyer is the optimal way to approach any birth injury case. You will be able to trust your attorney to handle your case proceedings so you can focus on recovery and managing your personal obligations. It can take time for your case to unfold, and your legal team will help prepare your application for review with the state Medical Review Commission.

Trust your attorney to prepare you for your hearing with the review panel and determine the next steps to take after you have received the panel’s approval to proceed with your claim. You will need your attorney’s help to secure the expert witness testimony you require to substantiate your claim, and they will also help you uncover all the various types of compensation you can seek from the defendant.

When the time comes to engage in settlement negotiations with the defendant, trust your attorney to guide you through this process and help obtain the fairest possible settlement offer from the defendant. If you encounter any problems with settlement negotiations, or if settlement is not an option, trust your attorney to prepare you for litigation and guide you through your courtroom proceedings with confidence.

The Branch Law Firm has decades of experience handling all types of complex medical malpractice cases, including those filed in response to birth injuries. We can not only assist you with navigating your case proceedings successfully but also reveal all the various channels of compensation you can explore with your claim, including those you may have overlooked on your own.

Many people mistakenly assume that hiring an attorney would be too expensive, especially in the face of significant damages resulting from medical malpractice. The reality is that the legal counsel you need is more accessible than you may think, thanks to the Branch Law Firm’s contingency fee policy. With this billing arrangement, you will pay our firm a fee only after we win your case.

There are no upfront legal costs for our representation, and you pay nothing if our team is unable to secure compensation for you. If we do secure a case award, our fee will be a percentage of the total amount recovered. This ensures you do not pay more for legal counsel than you win for your damages, and there is no financial risk to you when choosing our firm to represent you.

During your initial consultation with our team, we can listen to your story and help determine whether you have grounds for a birth injury claim. If so, we can explain the next steps to take and what you can expect from our team as your case unfolds. Contact the Branch Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation with our firm and learn what an experienced New Mexico birth injury lawyer can do for you and your family.