All people who seek to hold another person accountable for harm caused
must do so within specific amount of time. Statutes may dictate the time
within which a suit must be brought in order for it to be timely; this
is where the phrase ‘statute of limitations’ comes from. The
federal government and each state may have given different time periods
for similar cases, so where the wrong took place may impact your case.
For the most part, the Civil Practice Law and Rules in New York set forth
the various statutes of limitations; however, other limitations may be
found in the Estates Powers and Trusts Law and the General Municipal Law.
New York has limitations periods so that defendants do not have to guard
against “stale” suits. The famous case,
Flanagan v. Mount Eden General Hospital, found a court in which the justices would require parties to sue within
a time frame as would any “person of ordinary diligence.”
Failing to bring an action within the statutory time may preclude you from
winning your case if the defendant raises the statute of limitations as
a defense to the action. If the defense is accurate, the court will be
barred from hearing the case. This is why you should always err on the
side of caution and contact an
experienced Newburgh medical malpractice attorney when you can. If you suspect that you or a loved one may be the victim
of medical malpractice, you very well may have been; don’t risk
it by delaying. Don’t wait for your condition to possibly improve.
Seek assistance immediately.
Making things more complicated, different limitations periods exist for
different categories of wrong-doing. For example, intentional torts such
as battery have a one-year statute of limitations. Medical malpractice
has a 2 ½ year limitations period. The time period begins to run
when the harm complained of occurred; from that moment, a patient has
2 ½ years to seek court recovery from the medical professional
on a medical malpractice action.
Most medical service providers are included under the medical malpractice
statute limitations. It is not just your primary physician or surgeon.
Nurses, assistants, dentists, podiatrists, hospital employees, etc are
included as well. Essentially, anyone providing your health care is encompassed
by this statute of limitations period.
Note that whenever there is a rule, there may also be an exception to the
rule. The New York exceptions are the “discovery rule” and
the continuous treatment doctrine. Under the continuous treatment rule,
the limitations clock does not begin to tick until a patient’s ongoing
medical care has ceased in regard to the harm complained of. The discovery
rule may give a plaintiff a year to sue after discovering the harm, even
though the discovery may have occurred after 2 ½ years.
So you see how complicated this area of law is and how you need an experienced
Newburgh medical malpractice attorney who will carefully investigate your
claim with full knowledge of procedural law and with a thorough understanding
of common areas of medical malpractice.
If you or a loved one feels that a worthy case of medical malpractice exists,
contact our Newburgh attorneys who are well versed in medical malpractice
and procedural limitations periods. Remember, you have only 2 ½
years within which to commence a suit even if you don’t yet know
that malpractice occurred. Also remember that the doctor is not required
to tell you if a negligent mistake occurred, and they probably won’t—for
Our medical malpractice attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious personal injury accidents,
particularly throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and
Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.