When you are hurt due to a medical professional’s negligence, you may think that you have an unlimited amount of time to decide to file a personal injury lawsuit. Unfortunately, you are under a false impression. There is a statute of limitations in medical malpractice cases that everyone needs to be aware of.
In the state of New York, a lawsuit claiming medical malpractice must be filed within 30 months of the alleged malpractice. If you received continuous treatment for the same injury or illness that gave rise to the malpractice, you have 30 months from the last date of your treatment to file suit. Should you fail to file suit within this time frame, you lose your right to sue unless you meet one of the following exceptions.
The Discovery Rule
The discovery rule is an exception to the 30 month deadline. It only applies in cases where a foreign object was left behind in a patient’s body during surgery. In New York, the suit must be filed within 12 months of the date of the discover of the object, or from one year following the discovery of facts that lead to the discovery of the foreign object, whichever is earlier.
The statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit involving minor children does not kick in until the child’s eighteenth birthday. That said, the statute of limitations cannot exceed 10 years following the date of the alleged malpractice or after a foreign object was discovered or should have been discovered.
Other exceptions to the 30 month rule include a defendant having left the state after committing malpractice, or in the event that the victim was mentally disabled or mentally ill.
Shared Fault Rule
New York also has something called shared fault. If you are found to be partially liable for your injuries or illness, the judge can dismiss a portion of your award. For example, if you were awarded $100,000 and found to be 20 percent liable, the judge would reduce your award to $80,000.
If you have been injured at the hands of a medical professional, call our office today. A member of our team will provide you with a free case evaluation and advise you of your options. Call now for assistance.