If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one due to the negligence of a healthcare provider, you should know that you have a limited amount of time to file a claim seeking money damages from the responsible individual, group, or hospital. This time period is referred to as the “statute of limitations” or “limitations period.”
Calculating the exact deadline for filing a Syracuse medical malpractice claim (or, for that matter, a wrongful death or personal injury claim) can be tricky, so it is important to talk to a lawyer about your case as soon as possible. An attorney knowledgeable in negligence law can help make sure your claim is timely filed after talking with you about the details of your case.
Each case is unique when it comes to the statute of limitations because, while there are general guidelines about timeliness, there are also situations in which a filing period can be shortened or extended. It is, thus, imperative that you can legal advice about your case as soon as you can. Cases not filed in a timely manner are likely to be dismissed, with the plaintiff receiving nothing for his or her injuries or loved one’s wrongful death.
Facts of the Case
The plaintiff in a medical malpractice case filed in the Supreme Court of New York County in October 2018 was the administrator of the estate of a man who apparently died after having been treated by some or all of the defendant healthcare providers. It is unclear exactly when the alleged acts of malpractice took place, but it was apparently more than two and one-half years prior to the filing of the plaintiff’s complaint against the defendants. The plaintiff’s complaint also attempted to assert a claim for wrongful death.
The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting that the plaintiff’s complaint against them should be dismissed on the grounds that it was untimely. The trial court agreed with the defendants’ contention and granted judgment as a matter of law to the defendants. The plaintiff sought appellate review.
The Court’s Ruling
The New York Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed the lower court’s ruling granting summary judgment to the defendants. To the extent that the plaintiff had attempted to assert a wrongful death claim, the court noted that her claim was time-barred because it was filed more than two years after the death of her decedent. With regard to the plaintiff’s other claims, which the court characterized as seeking damages for medical malpractice allegedly inflicted upon the decedent, those claims were likewise time-barred because they were not filed within two and one-half years of the decedent’s death.
Although the plaintiff asserted that her claims should have been tolled during the time period before which she was granted letters of administration regarding the decedent’s estate, the reviewing court stated that this issue was not properly before the court, speaking from a procedural posture standpoint, but that, even if it was, the argument was unavailing because it was “simply not the rule” in New York that a statute of limitations was to be tolled while a claimant petitioned for letters of administration.
To Schedule a Free Consultation with a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Syracuse
Medical malpractice should never happen, yet it happens every day. If you or your family has been negatively impacted by a doctor, nurse, or hospital’s mistake, don’t let your case be dismissed on grounds of untimeliness. Talk to a Syracuse medical malpractice attorney at your earliest convenience, and get started on the process of holding the careless medical provider whose negligence hurt you or your family member accountable. To schedule a complimentary case evaluation with a member of our firm, call DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP Personal Injury Lawyers today at 833-200-2000 or use the “contact us” form on this website.