Statute of Limitations in a Medical Malpractice Case

A statute of limitations is a law that puts a strict time limit on a victim’s right to file a lawsuit in the civil court system after suffering some type of injury or loss. After the time has expired, the victim loses his or her right to file a lawsuit. There are different deadlines depending on the type of case. The statute of limitations for a medical malpractice suit in New York can be found in New York Civil Practice Law and Rules section 2-14a.

Date of Injury

In New York, the general statute of limitations for a medical malpractice case is two and a half years from the “act, omission, or failure” that caused the injury. This is true even if the victim was not aware that negligence occurred. There are exceptions to this general statute of limitations.

Continuing Course of Treatment

Under the Continuing Course of Treatment Doctrine, the statute of limitations is extended during the period of time that the patient is receiving treatment related to the “act, omission, or failure.” The statute of limitations begins to run only after the patient stops treatment with the doctor. For the doctrine to apply, the continued treatment must be related to the condition that is the subject of the lawsuit. It is not enough that the patient continues to see the doctor for other issues. 

Foreign Object

There is also a limited exception to the statute of limitations in cases where a patient is injured by a foreign object that is left inside the body. In these cases, the statute of limitations is one year and begins to run from the date the foreign object is discovered or should have reasonably been discovered.

Cancer Misdiagnosis

Thanks to the passage of Lavern’s Law earlier this year, there is now an exception to the statute of limitations in cases involving a cancer misdiagnosis. The statute of limitations in these cases is two and a half years from the date the missed cancer diagnosis is discovered. There is an outer limit of seven years from when the misdiagnosis occurred.

Cases Involving Minor Children

The statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit involving a minor child begins to run on the day the child turns eighteen. However, the lawsuit cannot be filed more than ten years after the injury occurred.

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice in New York is relatively short, so you want to make sure that you have an attorney evaluate your case as soon as possible. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience representing injured New Yorkers in medical malpractice cases. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MED-LAW1 to schedule a free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla Español.


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