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Understanding the Statute of L...

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Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Malpractice in New York

  • June 22, 2016

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As a victim of medical malpractice in New York, there are several laws that govern – and limit – your right to seek financial compensation for your losses. One of these is what is known as the “statute of limitations.”

What is a “Statute of Limitations”?

A statute of limitations is a law that establishes a time window within which a potential claimant must file a lawsuit to assert his or her legal rights. Once the window expires, the potential claimant will generally be precluded from taking his or her case to court. This makes understanding the statute of limitations absolutely critical. If you wait too long to file a claim, you could lose your ability to recover just compensation.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in New York?

In New York, the general statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is 30 months. However, there are a number of exceptions. For example:

  • If the claim is for a surgical error that involved leaving a foreign object in a patient’s body, the statute of limitations expires one year from the date the object either was or should have been found – whichever comes first.
  • For minors, the statute of limitations is three years from their eighteenth birthday, provided that the malpractice occurred within the previous 10 years.
  • In certain circumstances, the statute of limitations can be extended if the doctor (or other party who was at fault) leaves New York, or if the claimant is either mentally ill or mentally disabled.

With regard to the standard 30-month statute of limitations, an important consideration is when the 30-month period actually begins. In many cases, it will run from the date of the doctor’s error. For example, if your doctor makes a mistake and you find out about it right away (such as if you have surgery on your right arm when the doctor was supposed to operate on your left), you will generally have 30 months from the date of the doctor’s mistake.

On the other hand, if your doctor makes a mistake in the course of ongoing treatment (for example, during treatment for cancer), then the statute of limitations typically will not begin until the final treatment session is complete.

Learn More about Seeking Compensation for Medical Malpractice

The statute of limitations is just one of numerous issues affecting medical malpractice victims’ legal rights. The following articles provide more important information about seeking financial compensation after a medical mistake:

Did Your Doctor Make a Mistake? Contact Stenger, Roberts, Davis & Diamond, LLP Today

If you believe you may be a victim of medical malpractice, it is important to seek legal representation right away. While 30 months may seem like a long time, there are many factors that make it important to get started with your claim as soon as possible. To speak with an attorney about your legal rights, call our Poughkeepsie or Wappingers Falls law offices at (866) 290-6929 or send us a message online today.

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