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Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Cases

Attorneys Helping People Injured by Medical Malpractice Pursue Damages in Rochester, Syracuse, and Upstate New York

People who develop troublesome symptoms will often turn to healthcare providers for assistance in diagnosing the cause of their concerns and recommending appropriate treatment. All too frequently, however, healthcare providers’ oversights and errors result in incompetent treatment that harms rather than helps patients. Fortunately, the law affords people harmed by negligent healthcare providers the right to pursue damages in medical malpractice cases, but they must act promptly, otherwise, they may waive their right to recover damages. If you were injured by a negligent medical practitioner and you have concerns about the statute of limitations in medical malpractice cases, it is smart to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, our skilled Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers can assess the circumstances surrounding your harm, and assist you in seeking the best possible legal outcome. We frequently represent people injured by inadequate medical care in lawsuits in Syracuse, Rochester, and throughout Upstate New York.

Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Cases

In New York, medical malpractice cases are governed by the statute of limitations outlined in the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (the Rules). Generally, pursuant to the Rules, people who suffered harm due to a healthcare professional's negligence have two and a half years from the date of the injury to initiate legal action in the state. There are numerous exceptions to the general rule, however.

For example, under the continuous treatment doctrine, the statute of limitations is tolled until the date of the last treatment, meaning the clock doesn't begin to run until treatment concludes. The continuous treatment doctrine only applies if the plaintiff continued to seek care from the defendant during the relevant time period and the defendant actually administered such care. Further, the treatment must be continuous and must be for the same condition or symptoms that prompted the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims.

New York also applies the discovery rule in certain medical malpractice cases. Specifically, it provides that in cases involving foreign objects left in the body during a medical procedure, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until one year from the discovery of the object or the date the plaintiff should have reasonably discovered it. However, there are specific rules though as to what is considered a foreign object. Similarly, for cases involving negligent failure to diagnose cancer, the statute of limitations will not begin to run until the date the injured party knows or reasonably should know of their provider’s negligence or until the conclusion of continuous treatment, whichever is later, with a maximum limit of seven years from when the negligence occurred.

In medical malpractice cases in which the injured party is a minor, the statute of limitations is extended as well. Typically, they must file within 10 years of the malpractice, but that 10 year statute is shortened if the individual reaches age 18 during the 10 years.

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The statute of limitations for municipalities are also all different depending on the municipality. Some municipality require a Notice of Claim to be filed within 90 days of the incident while others require a Form 95 to be filed.

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Finally, wrongful death claims arising out of medical malpractice have a shorter statute of limitations period than other claims against careless healthcare providers, in that they must be pursued within two years of the date of the patient’s death. That is an extremely unfair statute considering it takes time to have an estate representative appointed within that same time period.

Confer with a Skilled Medical Malpractice Attorney in Syracuse, Rochester, or Upstate New York

People harmed by medical malpractice have the right to seek compensation from the parties responsible for their injuries, but if they delay, they may lose the opportunity to recover damages. If you were wounded by medical negligence, you should confer with an attorney to assess your possible claims. The skilled Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers understand what it takes to succeed in cases against careless doctors and nurses, and if you engage our services, we will help you pursue any damages available. Our primary office is located in Syracuse. We often represent people in medical malpractice cases in Syracuse as well as in Rochester and throughout Upstate New York. To arrange a complimentary and confidential meeting, you can contact us by calling us at 833-200-2000 or by using our form online.

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"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
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