Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a deadline for filing a lawsuit, making it important for you to consult with a New York lawyer as soon as you suspect medical malpractice. Our New York City lawyers at Rich & Rich, P.C. take prompt action to investigate, establish liability and file a lawsuit on behalf of our clients.
What is the New York statute of limitations for medical malpractice?
The deadline for filing a lawsuit is two and a half years from the date of the alleged medical malpractice, or within two and a half years from the last treatment you received when receiving continuous treatment for the same illness. The two and a half years limitation also applies to the date of a doctor’s failure to diagnose. Once the statute of limitations has run (is past), you lose your right to take legal action.
An exception to this rule is New York’s discovery rule ― which is very limited compared with many other states. The discovery rule applies to finding a foreign object left in the patient’s body. In this situation, you have one year from the discovery or one year from the date when you reasonably should have discovered the foreign object in your body to file a lawsuit. However, the reasonable discovery cannot be more than 10 years from the alleged malpractice action that caused the injury.
The court considers a foreign object to be any object left unintentionally in a patient, such as gauze, scalpels, clamps or forceps, and not intentional devices such as wire mesh, pacemakers or metal screws.
An example of the discovery rule as applied to a case
To give you a better idea, suppose that the operation where the surgeon left the foreign object inside you was on January 1, 2000. Under the regular New York statute of limitations, the statute would run until two and a half years later, or July 1, 2002. However, if you discovered the object through an x-ray done on January 1, 2003, then you would have one year from that date or January 1, 2004 to file a lawsuit.
Another exception to the statute of limitations
When minor children suffer from medical malpractice, the statute of limitations does not begin to run into they reach age 18. Even so, this exception also has a limitation. You cannot take legal action more than 10 years after the alleged malpractice or after a foreign object was discovered in the patient’s body or reasonably should have been discovered.
For wrongful death, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the wrongful death.
When your suspect medical malpractice, contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to avoid missing the statute of limitations.
Don’t wait. Contact Rich & Rich, P.C. today
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