The birth of a child is an exciting and nerve-wracking time. When that child enters the world and immediately has health problems, it can be devastating to everyone involved. A newborn should have his or her entire life ahead, so any injury, especially one with long-term consequences, takes a toll on that child's potential quality of life. When such injuries are avoidable, such as those due to medical malpractice of a New Mexico doctor, the situation is all the more tragic.
Medical malpractice claims are, at their base, usually negligence claims. That is, they allege that someone did breach a duty to use a reasonable standard of care, and an injury resulted. But, unlike a more common negligence claim, the standard of care is not simply that of any reasonable person.
Medical professionals, due to their training and experience are expected to perform to a higher standard of care than is normally required. In short, while a reasonable nonprofessional may not be expected to know how to perform certain medical procedures, a licensed physician would be.
Even within the medical profession, the standard of care against which a doctor might be judged may vary. When the alleged malpractice occurs in a specialized setting, like in a delivery room during a birth, for instance, and the doctor is an obstetrician, the standard used should be that of a reasonable professional who is knowledgeable in that specialty, rather than just any physician. This is important because those specialists may be reasonably expected to catch potential problems that others might miss.
The emotional and physical toll of birth injuries are hard to overstate. When a doctor or other medical professional makes a mistake in a delivery room, the results can be life changing for both the child and his or her family. Those New Mexico residents who have been in this situation should understand that it might be possible for them to receive some compensation for their expenses and suffering.