Medical Malpractice In New York: The Basics

Have you been injured as a result of the misconduct or error in judgment of a doctor?  If so you may have a legitimate claim for medical malpractice.  When it comes to medical malpractice laws, every state is different.  Therefore it is important that a victim of medical malpractice in New York has a basic understanding of the state’s laws before they file a lawsuit.

What is Medical Malpractice in New York?

Generally speaking, medical malpractice is defined as a breach or violation of the standard of care by a medical provider resulting in an injury to the patient.  The standard of care is “the generally accepted method of care a doctor or other healthcare professional should administer to a patient afflicted with a specific condition.”  A standard of car can vary depending of several factors such as the age of the patient and the patient’s ailment.

Victims of medical malpractice will also have to prove that the breach of the standard of care was a direct cause of the patient’s injury.  Oftentimes it is necessary to have the insight of a medical expert witness to prove this.

The Statute of Limitations

Each state has a different period of time, or statute of limitations, during which an injured patient can file a claim for medical malpractice.  In New York the time period ends at two-and-a-half years.  The statute of limitations begins to run when the act that resulted in the injury to the patient occurs or at the end of a continuous treatment during which the act that resulted in injury took place.

There is one exception to in New York and that is for foreign object cases.  These are cases where a doctor or other healthcare professional has left a foreign object in the patient’s body.  In these cases, the patient can file a claim anytime within one year of the discovery of the object.


In New York medical malpractice cases there are three main types of damages available.  These are:

  • Compensatory Damages – These damages are meant to compensate the victim for things such as medical costs and loss of wages that result from time off from work.
  • Non-economic Damages – These damages include compensation for things such as pain and suffering.
  • Punitive Damages – These damages are available in certain cases.  In order to receive punitive damages it must be shown that the healthcare provider acted in a reckless manner, such as with malice or fraud.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at