Is there a cap on damages in New Mexico medical malpractice cases?
Yes. Like many states, New Mexico “caps” or limits the amount of compensation that is available to a plaintiff who has been successful in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Most states’ medical malpractice damage caps apply only to non-economic damages like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and similar subjective damages. New Mexico’s cap is a little different, although it functions to cap non-economic losses as well.
New Mexico utilizes an overall cap of $600,000 on all categories of damages available to a medical malpractice plaintiff, but the cap specifically excludes compensation for past and future medical care.
So, the cap does not apply to compensation for any medical and rehabilitative care made necessary by the defendant’s malpractice, including payment of ongoing care in cases of permanent disability. But it will apply to other economic compensation such as payment of lost income and lost ability to earn a living, and it applies to all varieties of non-economic damages as well. Learn more about damages in a medical malpractice case.
(Note: New Mexico’s cap also does not apply to punitive damages, which are pretty rare in medical malpractice cases.)
New Mexico also caps each individual health care provider’s liability at $200,000, and any amount above that limit will be paid to the plaintiff out of a state compensation fund that has been set up for patients who have been injured by medical malpractice.
by: David Goguen, J.D.