Tim Chelpaty Inc. Hablamos Español CALL CHELPATY LAW OFFICE IF YOU HAVE A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIM FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION AND EVALUATION (575) 525-3123 ____________________________________________________________________________________ SERVING SOUTHERN NEW MEXICO *Alamogordo *Deming *Las Cruces *Ruidoso *Silver City *Tularosa
  Tim Chelpaty Inc.                                                                                                 Hablamos Español                                                                                                                                                                                                CALL CHELPATY LAW OFFICE                                                                                                                 IF YOU HAVE A  MEDICAL                                                                                                                          MALPRACTICE CLAIM                                                                                    FREE                         INITIAL CONSULTATION     AND EVALUATION                                                                                                                       (575) 525-3123  ____________________________________________________________________________________                                                 SERVING SOUTHERN NEW MEXICO *Alamogordo         *Deming         *Las Cruces         *Ruidoso         *Silver City        *Tularosa  



1. Choose lawyers.com    There are many websites that utilize to locate a medical malpractice lawyer.  


2.  Use search engines.   Use Google or Bing.  Just type in the city and type in medical malpractice attorney.  


3.  Check other legal websites.  The websites also include lawyer directories.  There is much information about medical malpractice. 


4.  Ask for a referral.  If you have a legal matter with another attorney, ask that attorney if they can refer you to a medical malpractice attorney. 


5.  Call your county or local bar association.  You can call the County Bar Association and request the names of attorneys who specialize in medical malpractice.  You can contact the State Bar Association of New Mexico.  If you are unable to reach the County Bar Association, call your State Bar Association Attorney Referral service.   Other options are on the State Bar website.


6.  When looking at the attorney’s website, you should be able to determine whether or not the medical malpractice attorney has a website.  


Failure to diagnose is just one of the many examples included in medical malpractice.  If a doctor fails to diagnose a disease, you might have a medical malpractice claim.  If a healthcare provider has failed to diagnose a condition, it does not mean you immediately have a medical malpractice claim.  Since medical malpractice failure to diagnose are very difficult and costly to prove, you should consult with a knowledgeable lawyer such as Chelpaty Law Office.  In order to have a successful medical malpractice case for failure to diagnose, you must show that the healthcare professional failed to diagnose an ailment and you were harmed as a result of the failure to diagnose.  In order to successfully prosecute a medical malpractice claim against your doctor, you must show that he deviated from the standard of care for the graphic area.  There are many factors which determine this standard of care; therefore, it is very important to consult with an attorney.  Once you have demonstrated that your doctor violated the standard of care, you must also prove that this violation caused you injuries, which is called Causation.   Expert witnesses are needed to prove Causation, which is governed by differential diagnosis. Doctors with years of experience might not exactly know what the diagnosis is for the patient.  Therefore, the law does not strictly hold doctors liable for failing to make the correct diagnosis all the time.  The standard of care is the standard by which doctors must follow.  


If you or a loved one has suffered because the doctor breached the standard of care and failed to diagnose your ailment, then you might have a medical malpractice claim.  



Time Limits


A person has a legal right to receive monetary compensation for injuries if the hospital is negligent.  Before the statute of limitations expires, the patient must act.  The most common mistake a patient makes is waiting too long to file a lawsuit.  Time limits which are statute of limitations, require patients to file legal claims within the statute of limitations.  Before a patient files a legal complaint, the patient must do certain conditions.  Therefore, it is critical for the patient to act promptly.  Medical Malpractice cases are very complex and you should never try handling one on your own.  

Procedural and Legal Issues


Due to procedural and legal issues, it makes these types of claims very complex.   In your case, it is reviewed by the correct expert medical witness. 

Determine whether the hospital and the independent contractor was actually negligent.  

This determination is very important.  The hospital might not be liable just because medical negligence occurred at the hospital. The doctor who provided the substandard care might be an independent contractor and not an employee of the hospital.  Therefore, you would need to sue the doctor for the negligent treatment rather than the hospital.  If the doctor is an employee of the hospital, then you can sue the hospital.  


Obtain Medical Records


When the patient asks the hospital for the medical records, the hospital must give copies of the records to the patients.  In certain instances, the patient may have to pay a copying fee.   


Determining your damages


At mediation, the hospital might make an offer to settle your case.  Therefore, it is very important, with the assistance of the Medical Malpractice Attorney, for the patient to determine the value of his case.  Possible losses and harms derived from the malpractice will be considered, including past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and maybe loss of consortium.   There must be a determination as to who is legally responsible for the medical malpractice mistake.  All parties who contributed to the injuries, such as nurses, doctors, and nurse practitioners, must be considered.  



Doctors who are sued for the first time will more than likely be sued again.  32% of all medical malpractice claims are caused by 1% of the doctors.  Once a doctor is sued, there is a higher degree of probability that the doctor will be sued again.  Actually, 95% of all doctors have no claims.  A doctor who has had multiple claims are the problems and a threat to the healthcare system.  Controlling the high risk doctors is very important to reducing medical malpractice lawsuits.  
A medical malpractice claim is worth how much?  

If you have a meritorious medical malpractice claim, you might consider how much value your claim is worth.  Damages in medical malpractice lawsuits are divided into two categories.  1) Damages not capable of exempt calculation-pain and suffering 2) Damages capable of calculation which are generally called Special Damages.  Lost earning capacity and lost earnings are a form of special damages, including medical bills and other financial losses.   Special damages are calculated to the dollar and are capable of exact calculation.  Lost earning capacity and lost earnings are earnings that a malpractice patient lost or will lose.  Past, present, and future which are the result of the malpractice.  Lost employment benefits such as health insurance, vacation time, and pension are included in the lost employment benefits.  Future medical treatment, which is required due to the malpractice, includes medical bills that the malpractice patient will incur for the future.  Suffering or damages not capable of exact calculation. The jury cannot review a document to determine how much to award for pain and suffering in a medical malpractice case.  Juries are instructed to use their good common sense, background, and experience to award damages for pain and suffering.  If pain and suffering cannot be calculated exactly during settlement negotiations in malpractice cases, often have difficulty determining exactly what the Plaintiff’s suffering might be worth.  Pain and suffering can be placed into two categories, physical and mental pain and suffering.  Physical injuries account for the actual physical pain and suffering of the victim, as well as pain and suffering from disfigurement and scaring.  Mental pain and suffering includes mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, anger, fear, humiliation, shock, and anxiety.  Severe pain and suffering can be the basis for post-traumatic stress disorder.  Determining the amount of lost earnings is not too difficult.   Simply add up the earnings and employment benefits that the patient lost from the beginning of when he/she did not work.  Determining future lost earning capacity is more difficult and requires the attorney to hire an Economic Expert to properly present the numbers to the court, which makes it understandable.  

Why you need a medical malpractice attorney.

You need a medical malpractice specialist because all attorneys are not the same concerning medical malpractice.  Medical malpractice lawsuits are very complicated and involve intricate legal issues.  If you have read a medical malpractice case in which the Plaintiffs received millions of dollars, it is very different from the medical malpractice lawsuit.  In actuality, 25% of all medical malpractice plaintiffs who bring a lawsuit, don’t win anything.  All attorneys are not the same.  Just as you need a medical specialist, such as a cardiologist for your heart, you need a medical malpractice attorney to bring your medical malpractice lawsuit. 

You need an attorney because these cases are very difficult.  Statistics show that winning a medical malpractice lawsuit is also very low.  You only have one opportunity to present your case to the insurer and the jury.  Therefore, you want a medical malpractice attorney who has experience to obtain the best results.  One of the most important decisions is to obtain an experienced, qualified attorney as soon as possible to obtain adequate compensation.  

There are several factors to consider when you retain an experienced medical malpractice attorney to bring your lawsuit, not just a regular personal injury lawyer.  These lawsuits are very expensive to litigate and medical malpractice attorneys have the resources to do so.  Second, an experienced medical malpractice attorney knows how to obtain qualified medical experts for your case since he’s handled other medical malpractice lawsuits, he knows how to do this.  Third, unqualified personal injury attorneys are not qualified medical malpractice attorneys and a medical malpractice insurers cannot respect these attorneys.  Fourth, medical malpractice cases normally entail complex medical issues which are far more complex than issues in your average personal injury cases.  Medical malpractice claims involve very complex damages to any part of the body.  Medical malpractice attorneys have the experience to determine what body parts have been injured.  In contrast, personal injury attorneys normally deal with cases involving soft tissue injuries, broken bones, or other types of orthopedic injuries which are not complex.  Medical malpractice insurers may not respect an unqualified attorney.  Most of the time, only experienced medical malpractice attorneys can convince medical malpractice insurers to pay the maximum dollars to settle the lawsuit.  Since most medical malpractice plaintiffs settle their cases before trial, they certainly want an attorney who is properly prepared and is ready to take the case to trial to obtain the best results. 




What is a Birth Injury Lawyer?


A Birth Injury Lawyer focuses on various birth injuries, which consists of Erb’s Palsy, Brachial Plexus, Spinal Cord injuries, facial paralysis, bone fractures, wrongful death, Anoxia.   If there were negligent medical malpractice and careless mistakes made by the doctor, these can cause birth injuries. 


What can a Birth Injury Lawyer do for me?


Birth Injuries can cause a tremendous financial strain to a family.  The Birth Injury Lawyer can recover compensation for these damages.  According to the Center for Disease Control, birth injuries cost the United States $2.6 billion dollars annually.  Birth Injury claims are very complex.  Therefore, you need an experienced attorney.  Experience has shown that lawyers who specialize in Birth Injuries, normally obtain a higher amount of compensation for their clients.  


What will a Birth Injury Lawyer do for me?


A Birth Injury Lawyer will review your medical records and retain the services of a medical expert to determine if the doctors and hospital staff caused your child’s injuries.  Having a Special Needs Child normally requires a parent to stay at home, which results in tremendous financial stress.   A Birth Injury Attorney can obtain the following compensation:  Assistive Equipment and Technology, physical therapy, physio therapy, occupational therapy, lost wages, medical care which includes doctors’ visits and medications, emotional pain and suffering, special education needs, home accommodations, and wheelchairs.



Does the nursing home address falls  


Inevitably, falls occur at nursing homes because of the physical conditions of the residents.  More importantly, it’s what happens after the fall that really matters.  Did the staff check for injuries?  Did the staff help the resident up from the floor safely?  Was the resident checked for injuries that were not apparent the first time?  Did the staff contact the family concerning the fall?  The nursing home ought to call and meet with the family of the resident to determine why the fall occurred.  Furthermore, the nursing home should take steps to protect the resident from future falls.  


Bed sores
Are there inexplicable bedsores?  What are the physical disabilities of the nursing home residents?   Is the resident capable of mobility?  Thereafter, the resident is developing bedsores, this should be addressed to the nursing home staff.   Is the resident in one position too long?  Why isn’t the resident encouraged to walk?  If a resident is confined to a bed, it should be determined if the resident is being rotated.  The orders should be noted for rotation and the rotation should be recorded in the resident’s medical chart.  Are the resident’s needs being satisfied? 


Adult Diapers


 Ask how many times a day does the resident’s adult diapers are changed if the resident is incontinent.  Determine the amount of times a resident should be changed as that could pose a problem.  If the resident isn’t wearing a clean adult diaper, wounds can develop.  If a resident needs more changes every two hours, the nursing assistants should change them more frequently.  




Is there any bruising?  As residents age, their skin bruises more easily because of medications and sensitivities.  If you see a finger-shaped bruise or a hand print bruise on the resident’s body, it might be a sign of physical abuse and it should be addressed with the staff.  




How does the food appear and how is the taste?  Dining with a resident in the cafeteria, is an excellent way for family members to determine how well the resident is eating.   When the residents are aging and losing sensitivity, food becomes a paramount issue.  The nursing home should maintain a record concerning how much food the resident eats during each meal.  If the resident isn’t eating the nursing home food, but eats food brought by their families, this should be addressed to the staff. 




What does a nursing home smell like?  This can have peculiar orders.  These orders can be attributable to certain medications or because the residents have flatulence.  Furthermore, as people age, they lose control over their bladders and bowels.  If the nursing home reeks with the smell of urine, it could be a sign that the nursing home is not being cleaned properly.  




Listen to what sounds you hear.  Residents yelling, screaming, for assistance or moaning, may be signs of poor treatment.  This could be the sign of some mental disorder.  Learn how staff members address the residents.   The staff should address the residents by their names.  This is a residents’ worth and the feeling of being respected.  




Beware of understaffing.  If the CNA’s and staff working overtime or double shifts, this could be a sign of understaffing, which can adversely affect the residents’ care.  If the staff is overworked, more than likely, they will be overstressed.  If the family believes that the resident is being neglected because of poor staffing ratios, they should file a complaint with a state agency that regulates the nursing home.  While the residents are not in their rooms, but rather outside doing activities, this is a very good sign because it shows that the residents’ needs are being addressed.  


Staff Interaction 


How the staff treats each other.   The staff more than likely is going to be rude to the residents if the staff is rude to each other.  Furthermore, the staff should spend its time charting at the end of each shift. 



When a family member can no longer take care of oneself, then the only alternative is to place a family member in an assisted living facility or nursing home.  Unfortunately, these facilities have become places of abuse because of many factors.  You have the right to file a lawsuit against an assisted living facility or nursing home although these facilities are required to report nursing home negligence to state agencies.  


If you have a nursing home negligence lawsuit, you need to prove that your loved one suffered an injury because of nursing home abuse or neglect.  Since many nursing home residents are frail, suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia, it is very difficult for them to communicate.  Here are some instances of assisted living facilities and nursing home neglect and abuse.


        *Not providing clean clothing and bedding
         *Emotional and verbal abuse
         *Failure to provide enough food and liquids
         *Too much sedation
         *Too little sedation
         *Sexual abuse 
         *Staff members physically abusing the residents 
         *Failure to protect a resident from another resident’s physical abuse


There are various signs you can find although nursing home negligence is sometimes difficult to determine.  The following are warnings of neglect and abuse:


        *Bed sores
         *Unexplained bruises and cuts
         *Residents wanting to be alone
         *Not enough food and liquids
         *Dirty bedding and clothing 


If you believe your loved one has been a victim of assisted living facility or nursing home abuse and neglect, contact an attorney immediately.  


Tim Chelpaty Law Office

121 Wyatt Dr. Suite #2

Las Cruces, NM 88005


Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
9am to 5pm


Las Cruces

Silver City





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