In the state of New York, patients who receive substandard care may be able to recover compensation by filing a medical malpractice claim. There are, however, strict deadlines for bringing these cases to court if a settlement cannot be reached. These deadlines are prescribed in the statutes of limitations.
These time limits exist for several reasons. Not only do they pressure claimants into starting the proceedings while important evidence is still available, but they also protect providers from facing malpractice claims several years or even decades after treating a patient.
Below is an overview of the statutes of limitations that apply to medical malpractice lawsuits in New York:
Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations for Most Cases
In most cases, victims of medical malpractice have 30 months from the date on which the cause of action was discovered or should have been discovered to file a lawsuit. Although your attorney will likely aim to resolve the proceedings without having to file suit, this might be the only option available if the opposing party refuses to pay a fair settlement. If you try to file suit after the statute of limitations has passed, the judge will almost certainly dismiss your case.
If Your Case Involves a Retained Surgical Body
In up to 1 per 1,000 abdominal operations, surgeons leave a foreign object inside the patient. The most common retained surgical bodies (RSBs) include sponges and instruments.
RSBs can cause life-threatening complications, but weeks or even months could pass before a patient realizes something is wrong. As such, the statute of limitations is slightly different for cases involving RSBs. If a surgeon left a foreign body inside you, the lawsuit filing deadline is one year from the date of discovery.
If You Were a Minor at the Time of the Incident
If you received substandard care as a minor, the filing deadline is three years after your 18th birthday; however, the lawsuit cannot be filed more than 10 years after the cause of action accrued.
If You Want to Sue a Government Facility
Suing a government agency comes with its own set of rules and poses additional hurdles. If you want to sue a healthcare facility that’s run by the city, state, or federal government, for example, you must file a Notice of Claim within just 90 days of the incident. Additionally, you must file the suit within 12 months and 90 days of the date on which the cause of action accrued.
Speak with a New York City Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you received substandard care from a medical provider, contact The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny to determine the most strategic way to proceed. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident, gather all available evidence, and take over the logistics of your case.
We have the resources of a large practice, but our attorneys remain committed to providing the personal, one-on-one attention of a small, local law firm. Call 212-421-0300 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a medical malpractice lawyer in New York City.