A statute of limitation is a law that serves to limit the years within which a person may file a lawsuit against another party. In New York, the statute of limitation for personal injury varies according to the type of case. In medical malpractice cases, the patient has two and a half years to file a lawsuit from the date the negligence occurred or from the end of the treatment administered by the party the plaintiff intends to sue. In case of wrongful death, the plaintiff will be able to sue up to two years subsequent to the death.
While some states have a “discovery rule” that causes statute of limitations to start only after the victim is aware of the harm, New York patients often encounter a situation in which their time to sue is expired prior to the victim being aware that he/she has suffered harm due to medical negligence. Therefore, the statute of limitations in New York, which begins from the date of malpractice, may present challenges to those that are late to discover medical negligence from their doctors or hospitals and seek to take legal action after their time period has expired.
A New York Daily News article published in February 2013 addresses the situation of a woman who discovered she had been harmed a long time after the Statute of Limitation time period had ran out. The woman ended up developing stage IV lung cancer, considered terminal, after Kings County Hospital failed to inform her 3 years prior that she had a nodule in her lungs. While courts may be able to recognize how such cases are unjust, they are forced to follow the statute, which eventually may inhibit the victims’ ability to go to court. Therefore, it is important that a medical malpractice patient seeks legal help as soon as they find out about their physician’s negligence.
Victims of New York medical malpractice are strongly advised to seek legal assistance from a New York medical malpractice law firm. In case a patient feels that they’ve been misdiagnosed, or that a doctor failed to correctly analyze their condition, please feel free to call Gordon Price Diefenbach, an attorney in Manhattan who has been handling these kinds of cases for nearly 30 years for a free assessment. The 24-Hour Hotline is (917) 734-7111. He will either speak with you the moment you call, or will return your call within a matter of hours.