Many people wonder if they have the right to sue a doctor for an error due to misconduct or negligence. Every state has its own set of regulations and laws regarding a patient’s ability to file a claim. Understanding the basics of medical malpractice law in New York will help you determine whether or not you have a valid claim.
Malpractice in New York
Generally speaking, medical malpractice occurs when a doctor’s error, whether due to negligence or blatant misconduct, causes injury or harm to a patient. The doctor or medical provider must have breached the accepted standard of care. That is, they must have treated you in a grossly different manner than another medical professional with the same experience would have treated you.
Not only will you have to show that a medical provider failed to live up to the standard of care, you will have to prove that you were injured as a result. To do this, you and your attorney will often rely on the testimony from a medical expert.
Statute of Limitations
Like any type of suit, medical malpractice does have a statute of limitations. This is in place to protect medical professionals from being sued years after a mistake was made. In New York, the statute of limitations on a medical malpractice claim is two and a half years.
The clock starts ticking as soon as the act occurs. Once a doctor or other medical professional makes an error that causes your injury, you have a limited amount of time to file suit. The only exception to this rule is in the case of foreign objects left in the body during surgery. In these cases, you have one year from the time the object is found to file your lawsuit.
In New York, patients have the ability to seek three types of damages: compensatory, non-economic and punitive. Compensatory damages are for lost wages and other financial costs. Non-economic damages are for things such as pain and suffering. Punitive damages are only awarded when you can prove that the medical professional acted recklessly.
If you have been injured at the hands of a medical professional, call our offices today. We will be happy to review the details of your case at no cost to you and advise you if you are entitled to compensation under New York law. Reach out to our expert team today.