Legal Guide

How Long Does a Medical Malpractice Case Take in NY?

Have you or a loved one suffered due to medical error or negligence in New York? Are you feeling overwhelmed with questions about your rights and the steps to take next? Following is a brief discussion by a Finkelstein law firm medical malpractice attorney in New York to help you understand key aspects of this type of case. As always, we recommend getting experienced legal help to ensure the best outcome for your lawsuit.

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in New York?

Medical Malpractice in New York is not just a mistake made by a healthcare professional; it is a breach of the standard of care that leads to patient harm. This standard is defined as what a reasonably skilled medical professional would or would not have done under the same or similar circumstances. Examples of medical malpractice can range widely, including:

  • Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
  • Surgical Errors
  • Medication Mistakes
  • Childbirth Injuries
  • Failure to Treat

Each of these instances shows a deviation from the expected standard of care, which is the crux of a medical malpractice claim in New York.

What are the Elements of a Successful Medical Malpractice Claim?

Negligence is a fundamental legal theory in medical malpractice cases. It requires you to prove specific elements to establish a healthcare provider's liability:

  1. Duty of Care: The healthcare provider had a duty to provide care consistent with the standards of the medical community. 
  2. Breach: There was a breach of this duty when the provider failed to adhere to these standards. This could involve actions taken that were not in line with standard practices or failing to take actions that a competent provider would have taken.
  3. Causation: The breach of duty directly caused you harm. This means showing that the injury or harm would not have occurred if not for the healthcare provider's negligence.
  4. Damages: As a result of the negligence, you suffered actual harm. This can include physical injury, financial loss, pain and suffering, and other forms of damage.

Each of these elements is critical, and the absence of any one of them can weaken your medical malpractice claim.

What Parties Can Be Held Responsible For Medical Malpractice in NY

In medical malpractice cases, various parties can be held responsible, depending on the circumstances of the case:

  • Doctors, surgeons, dentists, chiropractors, and other medical professionals
  • Nurses, physician assistants, anesthetists, and other healthcare workers
  • Hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other settings where medical care is provided

Is There a Time Limit For Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

In New York, you generally have two years and six months (30 months) from the date of the malpractice or from the end of continuous treatment to commence a medical malpractice lawsuit. 

However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if a foreign object is left in a patient's body, the lawsuit can be commenced within one year of discovering the object or when it reasonably should have been discovered. 

By consulting with a reputable and experienced medical malpractice attorney in New York medical malpractice victims can gain a better understanding of the specific timelines for their cases and ensure timely and appropriate action.

How Long Do Medical Malpractice Cases Take in NY?

The duration of a medical malpractice case in New York varies significantly depending on the specific details surrounding the incident. Generally, these cases can take anywhere from a few months to several years. Key factors influencing the timeline include:

  • The Complexity of the Case: More complicated cases may take longer to resolve, especially those involving intricate medical issues or multiple parties.
  • The Extent of Your Injuries: Cases involving severe or life-altering injuries might require extended time to fully understand the long-term impacts, which can lengthen the case.
  • Willingness of the Parties to Settle: If both parties are open to settlement, a case might resolve quicker than if it goes to trial.
  • Court Scheduling and Delays: Court schedules and unforeseen delays can extend the time frame of a case.
  • The Investigation and Expert Testimony: Gathering medical records, conducting a thorough investigation, and waiting for expert testimony can add time to the process.

It is important to consult with a skilled New York medical malpractice attorney who can provide a more precise timeline based on the specifics of your case.

What Will Happen if I Call a Medical Malpractice Attorney in NY?

Reaching out to a medical malpractice attorney is a significant step towards understanding and potentially pursuing your legal rights following a medical error. Here is what you can expect during this process:

  1. Initial Consultation: Most medical malpractice attorneys offer a free initial consultation. During this meeting, you will discuss the details of your case, including when and how the potential malpractice occurred. It is important to bring any relevant medical records, correspondence, and other documents to this meeting.
  2. An Explanation of Your Legal Rights: The attorney will explain your legal rights in the context of medical malpractice. This includes an overview of the relevant laws, the typical process for filing a claim, and what compensation you might be entitled to.

What Services Should a Medical Malpractice Attorney Offer?

A medical malpractice attorney should offer a comprehensive range of services to support and represent you effectively. This should include the following:

  • Case Evaluation and Investigation: This involves reviewing your medical records, consulting with medical experts, and determining the viability of a malpractice claim.
  • Guidance on Legal Rights and Options: The attorney should clearly explain the legal process, potential outcomes, and your rights.
  • Representation in Court or Settlement Negotiations: This includes preparing for and representing you at trial, if necessary, as well as negotiating with the defendants and their insurance companies for a fair settlement.

If you believe you have been a victim of medical malpractice in New York, do not wait to seek the help you deserve.


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