As medical errors become an increasingly well-known concern in the United States, medical malpractice claims are on the rise. In fact, according to a 2016 study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the nation.

Defined as a lapse in a health care provider’s judgment, skill, or coordination of care, a medical malpractice incident can lead to numerous preventable complications, including catastrophic injury or fatalities. If you or a loved one suffers harm from a medical malpractice incident, you need to know that you have legal rights to seek recovery.

One of these rights is to file a medical malpractice lawsuit with the assistance of a seasoned Schenectady medical malpractice lawyer. After ensuring you file within the statute of limitations, a dedicated medical malpractice attorney could help you pursue the compensation to which you may be entitled.

Medical Malpractice Filing Deadline

Most states have laws that require plaintiffs to file a medical malpractice lawsuit within a certain time period, and New York is no exception. As per New York Civil Practice Law & Rules §214-a, plaintiffs in a medical malpractice case have two years and six months to formally file their lawsuit. When a medical malpractice case is not filed within the legal timeframe, plaintiffs may give up their right to pursue justice.

Exceptions to the Filing Deadline

In specific situations, the filing deadline for a medical malpractice case may be extended. Victims should speak with a Schenectady medical malpractice attorney if they believe any of these exceptions apply to their case.

Limited Discovery Rule

New York has a limited discovery rule. If the medical malpractice involves a foreign object that was left in the patient’s body, the statute of limitations would be one year from the date that the patient would have reasonably known about the error.

Minor Children

If the medical malpractice event involved a minor child, the statute of limitations does not begin until the child turns 18. However, no matter the age of the child when the malpractice occurred, no more than 10 years may elapse after the event or after a foreign object should have reasonably been discovered before a filing.

Medical Malpractice Filing Requirement

When a lawsuit is filed in this state, the plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawyer in Schenectady must also file a written certificate of merit. As per New York Civil Practice Law & Rules §3012-a, this certificate must be submitted within 90 days of filing the medical malpractice lawsuit if it cannot be filed at that time.

The certificate of merit must state one of the following:

  • The lawyer reviewed the relevant facts of the case, discussed them with at least one licensed doctor, and—based on that discussion—found that there is a valid basis for the filing of a lawsuit
  • The lawyer was unable to comply with this first requirement despite making three separate attempts in good faith to consult with three different physicians

A lawyer could help someone with many different situations, including: birth injuries, anesthesia errors, delayed cancer diagnosis, hospital negligence, medication errors, surgical errors, and many others.

Speak with a Schenectady Medical Malpractice Attorney

Standing up to medical professionals and their seemingly powerful insurance companies can be a daunting task. When you hire an experienced Schenectady medical malpractice lawyer, though, there is no need to feel intimidated or belittled.

Lawyers who specialize in medical malpractice are used to standing up to these entities and holding them accountable for the damages they have caused their patients. If you are ready to seek justice and move forward with your medical malpractice case, call a qualified medical malpractice attorney in Schenectady today.