New York Medical Malpractice: Laws, Claims and Damages
UPDATED: March 7, 2012
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident law decisions. Finding trusted and reliable legal advice should be easy. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
NEW YORK MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
If a New York health care provider has negligently injured a patient, that patient may file a suit for medical malpractice against the provider. Medical malpractice is an area of law designed to protect patients form the negligent acts of health care providers. Every health care provider must meet a certain standard of care in treating a patient, a standard determined by the provider’s sector of the medical profession. When the health care provider acts outside this standard of care and injures the patient as a result, they are medically negligent, and can be sued for medical malpractice in New York. Medical negligence can include many different types of acts or omissions, including:
- Misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose;
- Failing to provide the patient with sufficient information about the risks of treatment;
- Mistreatment or a failure to treat;
- Failure to foresee a problem with a particular course of treatment.
Because New York medical malpractice claims are very fact-specific, a patient who believes that a health care provider has injured them should immediately contact a New York medical malpractice attorney to discuss their claim.
Who Can Be Sued in a New York Medical Malpractice Case?
Any New York health care provider can be considered to have acted in a medically negligent manner, and therefore be sued for medical malpractice. New York defines a health care provider as any individual or organization “employed or otherwise involved in the provision of health care or treatment.” As one might suspect, this broad definition can include many different types of health care providers, such as doctors, surgeons, specialists, nurses, assisted living facilities, hospice care centers, free clinics, physical therapists, and many others. If you have questions or concerns about whether a party is considered a health care provider under New York law, contact a New York medical malpractice attorney for help in this inquiry.
New York Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
In New York, a medical malpractice claim must be brought within the statute of limitations or else the patient will lose the claim for good. Generally, the statute of limitations in New York is two and a half years from the date of the action or inaction that led to the injury. However, if the patient is injured but receives continuous treatment, the statute of limitations begins at the conclusion of the treatment. For cases in which a health care provider leaves a foreign object inside a patient’s body during surgery, the patient has one year from the date of the discovery of the object to file a claim. In any case, time is of the essence, and patients should contact a New York medical malpractice attorney as soon as they believe they have been injured by a health care professional. Failure to file a claim before the statute of limitations expires can mean a total loss of recovery.
Caps on Medical Malpractice Claims in New York
While New York does not limit the amount of recoverable damages in medical malpractice claims, the state does limit who qualifies as a plaintiff for different types of medical malpractice suits. For more information on damages, and to be sure that you qualify as a plaintiff, contact a New York medical malpractice attorney.
Filing a New York Medical Malpractice Claim
Even more so than in other states, filing a New York medical malpractice claim is technically very tricky, and requires the assistance of an experienced New York medical malpractice attorney in filing the claim. The procedure for New York medical malpractice cases is complex. After the attorney reviews the case, and obtains testimony from an expert witness, the attorney must sign a Certificate of Merit, affirming that the patient’s case is legitimate. This must be done prior to filing the claim in court. This process requires expert knowledge of medical malpractice law, and should not be handled without a medical malpractice lawyer.
Adding to the complexity, the health care provider will likely have a strong line of defense lawyers behind them, typically a whole team of accomplished attorneys who have been specially trained in defending these types of claims. Any mistake made along the way can lead to a dismissal of the case, or a partial or full loss of available damages. A plaintiff has only one chance to bring a case for medical malpractice properly against the defendant. To make sure you are doing everything in your power to maximize your chances of winning, consult an experienced New York medical malpractice attorney today.
New York Medical Malpractice Laws
- Civil Practice Law and Rules: Health Care Arbitration: Definitions: Article 75-A, §7550.
- Civil Practice Law and Rules: Limitations of Time: Action for medical, dental or podiatric malpractice to be commenced within two years and six months: Article 2, §214-A.
- Civil Practice Law and Rules: Remedies and pleading: Certificate of merit in medical, dental and podiatric malpractice actions: Article 30, §3012-A.