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When a person is harmed by medical malpractice in Mexico, he or she has the right to claim damages from the doctor, hospital or clinic responsible. Many times, victims do not file complaints or claims in court, mainly due to lack of economic resources to face health institutions; therefore, if you are wondering: “How to act before a medical malpractice?”, join us to read, because below we will give you 6 tips to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

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Tip 1. Distinguish the person(s) responsible for your harm

Unfortunately, in Mexico there are very frequent cases in which doctors, nurses, administrative personnel or other health professionals commit malpractice: inadequate treatment, delay in care, forgetting healing material inside the patient’s body, delay in diagnosis, among others.

A nurse who did not bring the medicines on time, a laboratory technician who incorrectly read an X-ray, receptionists who deny access to people in serious health condition due to accidents, births, etc., are examples of medical negligence not committed by the incumbent physicians, but they are the targets of lawsuits and complaints, that is, if we assume that in a hospital a nurse caused damage to a patient, the defendant could be the hospital, because it is the one with more economic resources.

On the other hand, there are times when two or more people are involved in a medical malpractice, so identifying them with their full name and position will help us to file the corresponding complaint and, if necessary, file the lawsuit for medical malpractice.

Tip 2. Report medical malpractice to Conamed

Before resorting to legal proceedings, the first step is to report medical malpractice to the National Commission of Medical Conciliation and Arbitration (Conamed), a decentralized body of the Ministry of Health, which is responsible for receiving complaints related to health professionals and acts as a mediator to resolve conflicts without having to conduct expert opinions, confrontations or trials.

According to Conamed, a medical malpractice is produced when a health professional incurs in the neglect of care or precautions during care, resulting in errors, omissions in procedures such as diagnosis, treatment or recovery, and causing physical or psychological damage to the patient.

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The above should be understood, since many patients consider themselves to be victims of negligence in cases such as not being cured of their illness; however, according to Conamed, the physician’s duty is not focused on the result but on the means. That is to say, the physician’s obligation is to contribute his knowledge and skills to provide the patient with the correct care, so if he does not apply them properly, he will be committing negligence.

In addition, it must be ruled out that the event occurred was “accidental”, that is to say: an accident cannot be foreseen, it happens unexpectedly and is out of the hands of the medical staff, but a negligence occurs due to denial of service, professional error due to poor knowledge, etc., situations that are in the hands of the professional.

Then, the patient should go to Conamed so that the specialized team can analyze from a medical and legal point of view the facts and the patient’s requests, so that both parties can solve their problem in an amicable and voluntary way.

What are the requirements to file a complaint with Conamed?

According to Conamed, the person affected by the negligence must be the one to present his/her complaint verbally or in writing, giving his/her full name, telephone numbers, current address, name of the institution that provided the service and of the health professional who committed the negligence in order to request a conciliatory petition.

A brief description of the facts must be attached: what, how, when and where they occurred. If the complainant makes his/her complaint in writing, he/she must add his/her signature or fingerprint. In addition, it is required to submit a copy of the appointment card with the patient’s affiliation number (in case the complaint is against a public institution), a copy of official identification with photograph and the documents that prove the doctor-patient relationship and support the facts: notes, medical prescriptions, hospital discharge, clinical exams, invoices, payment receipts, among others.

Tip 3. Prepare for the Conciliation and Arbitration hearing

Once the procedure is completed, Conamed will summon the patient and the physician, or a representative of the institution that provided the service, for a conciliation in which both parties clarify the facts and an alternative solution is given. If no agreement is reached, the next stage is arbitration, where Conamed will decide who is in the right and resolve the matter.

You should know that the Conamed is impartial and only acts in some cases where the resolution is given peacefully, but if you are looking for the sanction to the doctor or the reparation of the damage, you will have to file a lawsuit. For this, we recommend you to hire lawyers specialized in medical malpractice, such as the ones you will find in LEX & CO.

Tip 4. Prepare for the Court Hearing

From the time the medical malpractice claim is filed until the hearing, many things can happen, so it is very important to have the advice of experienced medical malpractice attorneys who will help you present your testimony and that of your witnesses. The attorney will probably be in contact with the opposing party who may seek a settlement, but researching more about their defense, their version of the event, or the witnesses they present will help us better prepare.

Remember to arrive punctually on the day of the hearing, follow all court rules and protocols, refer to the judge politely and speak only when it is your turn.

Tip 5. Prepare sufficient evidence

If you or someone in your family is a victim of medical malpractice, keep all necessary documents and if you can, take photographs that can later serve as evidence for the court.

Do not allow too much time to act. There is a time limit for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, generally two years from the date the injury occurred. Check your local statutes to determine the time within which you must file your lawsuit.

Tip 6. Before suing, seek legal advice

Consulting with an experienced medical malpractice attorney will help you, first, to determine whether the act committed was really medical malpractice or not, since filing an unfounded lawsuit is punishable by a substantial fine. The lawyer will help you gather evidence, witnesses, draft your complaint and establish the amount you will seek as payment for damages.

Frequently asked questions about the medical malpractice lawsuit process in Mexico

What are the steps to sue for medical malpractice in Mexico?

Broadly speaking, the steps for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit are: Gather as much evidence as possible to support your case, which may include:

What are the legal requirements for a medical malpractice lawsuit in Mexico?

How can I find a medical malpractice lawyer in Mexico?

To find a medical malpractice lawyer you can search the internet, approach the bar associations in your city or seek recommendations from your acquaintances. But if you have arrived here, we recommend you to contact us because at LEX & CO we have a team of specialists and hundreds of cases that support us as the experts to represent you legally.

Trust LEX & CO and put your case in our hands

At LEX & CO we are medical malpractice lawyers, a team of medical experts that will help you resolve your case successfully. We are located at Calle California No. 130-A almost corner with Inglaterra, Col. Parque San Andres, C.P. 04040, Mexico City.

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