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How long do I have to bring a medical malpractice suit?

With all the posts we have written about medical malpractice, part of the reason that some may not bring malpractice suits is that they may not realize that their injuries or ailments were actually caused by a doctor’s mistake. Additionally, some may have questions about whether they can bring a lawsuit, given how much time has passed since the surgery, diagnosis, or procedure they underwent.

Because of these questions, we dedicate this post to answering the question (on a threshold level) as to how the statute of limitations may affect a medical malpractice suit. 

Under New York state law, a medical malpractice suit must be initiated within two years and six months of the alleged injury or malpractice. New York is one of a few states in America where the statute of limitations is based on the date of the alleged malpractice (or the last date of treatment), not when a prospective plaintiff actually discovers that their ailment was caused by a physician’s mistake. Because of this, a plaintiff may be at a disadvantage when it comes to seeking damages for malpractice.

However, when such a claim is based on a surgical tool or other object left inside a person’s body after surgery, the statute of limitations is one year after the person makes such a discovery.

Nevertheless, the time period in which to bring a lawsuit may close quicker than you think. Because of this, speaking with an experienced medical malpractice attorney is important. It may take time to lay the foundation and develop your case. 

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