In New York, medical malpractice injury victims have 30 months to file a lawsuit seeking damages for medical malpractice. This time limit is referred to as the statute of limitations, and failing to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations generally means losing the opportunity to do so forever.
Why You Should Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer as Soon as Possible
The statue of limitations underscores why you should never wait to contact an attorney for help with your medical malpractice claim. Waiting too long to start this process means less time to prepare for and investigate your claim. It can also mean losing crucial evidence that could otherwise support your case and help you achieve the maximum possible recovery.
Over time, your injuries may heal or become aggravated by a subsequent and unrelated incident, which makes it difficult to discern how serious your injuries once were. Likewise, documentation and other records of your injuries, medical care, expenses incurred, and more can be lost, therefore limiting your potential recovery.
Lastly, memories associated with your medical care, injuries, and other factors can become less clear over time. This may be especially true for health care professionals who see hundreds if not thousands of patients every year. While good documentation of your injuries counts for a lot, so too do clear memories of the circumstances surrounding them.
When Does the Statute of Limitations Begin?
Typically, the date on which the alleged negligence occurred starts the clock on the statute of limitations. If, for example, someone was injured by a medical practitioner on June 1, 2023, they would have 30 months to file their claim until Dec. 1, 2025, to file their claim.
There are situations in which the statute of limitations may begin after the alleged medical malpractice occurred. These are cases that typically involve a victim becoming aware of an injury after receiving treatment. For example, if an x-ray reveals foreign objects left in someone’s body from a surgery that occurred months or even years ago, the statute of limitations can begin on the date of the x-ray or when the victim should have been aware of their injury.
Defendants in personal injury lawsuits are highly aware of the statute of limitations. If there’s an opportunity to convince a judge to rule that this time limit has already passed, you can count on the defendant to seize it. This is another reason why you should never wait to seek legal assistance for medical malpractice!
Exceptions for Minors
An important exception to the 2.5-year statute of limitations applies to minors. If someone younger than the age of 18 is injured because of medical malpractice, they have three years from their 18th birthday to file a claim as long as the negligent incident occurred within the previous 10 years.
For example, a 19-year-old could file a lawsuit for a medical malpractice lawsuit that occurred as far back as age 9. If the 19-year-old was injured when they were 8, however, the statute of limitations that applies to them has already elapsed.
Who Can Help Me File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
At the Law Office of David Kates, medical malpractice cases are our specialty. Our knowledgeable attorney has many years of experience in medical malpractice law and knows how to handle complex medical cases. We understand that medical negligence can have a devastating impact on victims, so we strive to provide the highest quality legal counsel available.
To avoid losing precious time for handling your claim, contact the Law Office of David Kates online now.