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New York Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

  Alan Fuchsberg  |  January 16, 2019  |  ,

The definition of medical malpractice is when a medical professional makes an error due to negligence that has a negative outcome on your health, or in severe instances can cause death. While many doctors, nurses, paramedics, radiologists and other types of healthcare professional provide quality care and adhere to medically accepted standards of care, mistakes can happen. When medical negligence results in injury, the effects can be catastrophic to a patient’s health and well-being.

According to an organization called The True Cost of Healthcare, medical providers in New York had the highest per-capita medical malpractice payout between 2012 and 2016. That means that providers here paid the most money based on the population. The average was $3.5 billion dollars per year in total payouts. Nearly one-third of these were due to the death of a loved one followed by 20 percent for a serious personal injury as the second-leading reason for initiating a medical malpractice claim investigation.

How Long Do Victims Have To File A Medical Malpractice Claim?

The New York medical malpractice statute of limitations allows victims 2 1/2 years from the time they discovered the relationship between the practitioner’s actions and their new symptoms or the death of a close family member. However, New York does allow several exceptions to this 30-month rule which we will discuss below.

NY Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations & Exceptions – The Discovery Rule

Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may not be able to determine for months or even years that the negligent actions of your medical provider caused them. The New York legal malpractice statute of limitations clause recognizes this and starts the clock from the date of discovery rather than the date of the negligent action.

It also allows for the following exceptions to the typical 2 1/2-year time frame for filing a lawsuit:

  • Discovery of a surgical instrument or other foreign objects inside of the body: All patients, including minors, must initiate a claim no later than one year after the discovery that a surgeon left an instrument inside of the body during a procedure. This exception also states that the injured patient should initiate the lawsuit within one year of discovering facts that would allow any person of sound mind to determine the error. The one-year clock starts ticking on whichever action occurred first.
  • Doctrine of continuous treatment: This exception means that the 30-month clock does not start while you are still receiving treatment from the same medical provider whom you feel committed malpractice against you. A good example of this is if you have surgery and continue to see the same provider for follow-up. You may not realize until attending several appointments that your doctor was negligent during the initial surgery.
  • Insanity: If a person has been declared legally insane, the 30-month clock will not start counting down toward the New York legal malpractice statute of limitations. This will only happen when or if a judge has declared the person legally sane and capable of initiating a medical malpractice lawsuit on his or her own behalf.
  • Medical malpractice against a minor: The medical malpractice statute of limitations extends to 10 years if the patient is a minor at the time of the alleged malpractice. That means the parents must initiate the lawsuit if the child is still under age 18 at the time of discovery. The two exceptions to this are cancer misdiagnosis and a foreign object left inside the body.
  • Misdiagnosis of cancer: If you are alleging medical malpractice due to cancer misdiagnosis, you have two years from the date you initially discovered the error to file a lawsuit for financial compensation.
  • Wrongful death: If you believe your spouse or other close family member died due to medical negligence, you have two years from the date of his or her death to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit.

At Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm, we understand that medical malpractice law can get complicated. We urge you to contact us as early in your case as possible, especially if you think it meets one of the above exceptions. It is also crucial to act quickly before the statute of limitations expires and you have no legal recourse to collect financial compensation to assist you in coping with the effects of the medical malpractice.

How Can Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Help You?

The consequences of a medical error can be serious and lifelong in some situations. You went to your doctor or surgeon expecting a resolution of your symptoms and they got worse instead of better. In a worst-case scenario, the act of medical malpractice left you with a permanent physical disability. We feel it is only right that those responsible for the consequences you live with each day provide you with financial compensation. If your medical malpractice claim investigation finds that a health professional or facility was negligent you may have rights to compensation.

You could receive several categories of compensation with a successful medical malpractice lawsuit. Some of these include:

  • Payment for past medical expenses and estimated future costs
  • Lost wages as you recovered from the medical error
  • Loss of earning potential if your new injuries caused you to reduce your hours or accept a job that paid less because you could not meet the demands of the job you had at the time of the malpractice
  • Accommodations you may need to make to your home or vehicle such as a wheelchair ramp or lift
  • Physical pain and emotional distress related to the medical error
  • Loss of companionship if your spouse died or you can no longer enjoy the same type of relationship as before the medical error
  • Funeral and burial costs in the case of wrongful death
  • Loss of enjoyment of life, including the inability to continue to pursue hobbies that you find relaxing or meaningful

The medical malpractice New York statute of limitations means that you need to act quickly, even if you feel uncertain that medical malpractice occurred in your situation. Our law firm has the experience and resources necessary to investigate your case and gather the proof you need to demonstrate that your medical provider failed in his or her duty to provide you with an acceptable level of care. These cases take time and can be challenging because you must prove a direct relationship between the provider’s negligence and your symptoms or injuries. The good news is that we are prepared to fight for you no matter how long it takes.

Questions? Talk To An Experienced New York Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

The attorneys at Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm are known for their strong empathy toward clients while aggressively representing their interests at the same time. Three generations of Fuchsberg family members and their talented partners have fought for the rights of people who find themselves in a difficult situation through no fault of their own.

We understand that each patient has a unique situation, and will ensure you fully understand the New York medical malpractice statute of limitations, claim investigation process, and your legal rights moving forward. If you’ve suffered due to malpractice, we invite you to call 218-869-3500 or complete the contact form below for a free personal consultation to begin.

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