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New York Personal Injury Attorneys

An Overview of the Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

January 7, 2021 in

When you receive treatment from a medical professional, you place trust in their ability to relieve your pain or discomfort through medical intervention. But what happens if you suffer at the hands of that medical professional due to negligence? Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complex, and it is important to note state-specific requirements for filing a medical malpractice claim.


The medical malpractice attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. provide an overview of the medical malpractice statute of limitations, specific requirements for New York state and how our attorneys can provide guidance and representation for you during this difficult time.


New York State Requires Filings WIthin Two and a Half Years


Generally speaking, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims vary by state, ranging from two to six years. In New York state, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice case is 2 ½ years. If you were directly injured as a result of a surgery or medical procedure, this time will begin directly after your procedure. However, if you were injured due to a continued treatment given by your medical professional, the 2 ½ year timespan does not begin until the conclusion of that treatment. If a minor is injured as a result of negligence, they will have two and a half  years from their eighteenth birthday to file a medical malpractice claim but no longer than 10 years from the date of the malpractice, whichever is shorter..


Additionally, New York has a special rule relating to foreign objects left inside an individual’s body, which may occur during surgery. This rule states that an individual has “one year of the date of such discovery or of the date of discovery of facts which would reasonably lead to such discovery, whichever is earlier.” If you are injured as a result of medical malpractice, it is vital that you seek assistance quickly and begin the process of filing a claim. If you pass the timeline designated by your state, you may completely lose the ability to file a claim, and if you do, it may be quickly dismissed by the court.


The Discovery Rule Provides an Exception to the Statute of Limitations


While the statute of limitations plays an important role in determining medical malpractice claims, there are exceptions in cancer cases, with the most common being the discovery rule. In cancer cases, an individual may have not been aware they were a victim of medical malpractice prior to their statute of limitations expiring. For example, if your doctor failed to diagnose cancer, or failed to read a mammogram properly, you may not be aware of the negligence that occurred until years later.


In this case, the statute of limitations would expire two years from the date that you discovered or became acutely aware of your injury or illness. Say you go to your doctor for a cancer screening, and they tell you that you are healthy and send you home. However, you continue to suffer minor symptoms for the next three years, and one day become severely ill. You then go to another doctor who discovers that a cancerous tumor has gone undiagnosed, and you were previously misdiagnosed. In this case, the statute of limitations for filing your medical malpractice claim would be two years from that day, seeing as that was when you became aware of your illness.


SPBMCC Can Help You Through Your Medical Malpractice Claim


It is the duty of any medical professional to treat patients within the standard of care. When doctors, nurses and staff fail to do so, the outcome can be fatal for the patient. If you have suffered at the hands of a negligent medical professional, it is imperative that you seek assistance and file a medical malpractice claim as soon as possible in order to ensure your claim will fall within New York’s statute of limitations. With extensive resources, skills and commitment, the attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. are here to guide you through the complexities of your medical malpractice claim so that you can obtain the compensation you deserve. Discuss your legal options with an attorney today by calling (212)-732-9000 or by contacting us here:

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