New York Wrongful Death Statute Of Limitations Due To New York Medical Malpractice

Wrongful Death

New York medical malpractice can be horrific enough to cause the death to a patient. Even though it sounds not likely, it does occur. In fact, it is likely. It can happen and it does happen. Families are completely devastated by the negligence of a healthcare provider which results in the death of a patient.

The normal statute of limitations for medical malpractice is two and a half years from the date of the negligent act or omission. This is the time that the victim has to commence the action. However, in a wrongful death case the victim cannot commence the action—the victim is dead. This creates other problems for the victims of New York medical malpractice which make it harder to vindicate the rights of a victim wronged by negligence healthcare professionals.

Under New York law, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim is two and a half years from the date of the wrongful act or omission. When the patient dies in a wrongful death case, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death. However, the underlying claim for medical malpractice must still be liable. That is, it must still be within two and a half years from the medical malpractice when the victim dies. If it is more than two and a half years, it is very likely that a wrongful death claim caused by medical malpractice will not apply. There are a few exceptions or tolls which may apply, but it is best to only consider those exceptions to revive a claim beyond the tow and a half years.

What do you think about this? On one hand, by requiring the underlying two and a half years to still be ongoing requires there to be a causal link between the medical malpractice and the wrongful death. But don’t some serious instances of medical malpractice take years to manifest itself? Couldn’t a patient go into a coma due to medical malpractice and not revive until after the statute of limitations period? There are some incompetency and disability sections of the New York civil laws which may keep claims like this alive, but it is not guaranteed.

Don’t you think that a wrongful death claim should be LONGER than two years? After all, a healthcare professional may have killed a victim—shouldn’t the victim have a long time to commence the case? After all, murder has not limitation of time; isn’t this like murder?

These are all important considerations. The bottom line with a New York medical malpractice case causing a wrongful death is that the two and a half years must still be ongoing when the death occurs, and the estate has two years from the date of the death to commence the wrongful death case.

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