Steps Involved in Filing a New York Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
You just delivered a baby, and something went wrong. You suspect the doctors made mistakes during the delivery. Or maybe you underwent surgery, and now there are complications. You may be facing a second surgery to correct the problems.
You’ve done some digging, and you’re quite sure—someone at the hospital made a mistake. You’re considering filing a New York medical malpractice lawsuit, but you’re not sure where to begin. How do you start?
How long should you wait before checking with NY personal injury attorneys?
File your New York medical malpractice lawsuit sooner rather than later
Each state has what is known as a “statute of limitations,” which is a type of federal or state law that restricts the time that you may bring a legal claim against a defendant. After the time has elapsed—typically 1-3 years—you may no longer do so.
The statute of limitations prevents people from filing claims long after the evidence has been lost or the facts have become obscure because of the passage of time. Currently, in New York, a victim must file a New York medical malpractice lawsuit 15 months after the incident occurs at a city hospital, and 2.5 years after it occurs at a private hospital.
Potential changes in New York malpractice laws?
Recently, Councilman James Vacca called for the passage of “Lavern’s Law,” named for Lavern Wilkinson, who died in March 2013 of lung cancer that went undiagnosed for two years. The delay resulted in her being unable to file a New York medical malpractice lawsuit because of the statute of limitations. Lavern’s law would have amended the statute of limitations for medical malpractice victims, but according to the New York Daily News, it died the last week of June 2013 in committee. Lawmakers are hoping to try again next year.
Steps to take when filing a New York medical malpractice lawsuit
Once you’re ready to move forward with your New York medical malpractice lawsuit, you may want to consider calling your doctor first. Talk to him or her about what went wrong, and find out if there is room for a solution. A lawsuit can be stressful and time-consuming, so if there’s any way you can negotiate a refund on the service, or a free correction procedure, it may be worthwhile.
If your discussion with the doctor doesn’t yield the results you were hoping for, you can contact the licensing board that governs medical licenses. The board may be willing to issue warnings or discipline for the incorrect action, and may provide you with additional guidance.
Next, you will need to speak to another doctor about a “certificate of merit,” which shows that the injuries you experienced were indeed, the result of medical negligence. This certificate will also assist your attorney in assessing the merits of your case.
Contacting NY personal injury attorneys
Your next step is to contact NY personal injury attorneys to find a professional to represent you. The Sanders Firm has decades of experience in dealing with personal injury and medical malpractice cases, and always offers a free initial consultation. Bring your medical records, insurance information, and other relevant documents with you to the meeting, and we will review the facts of your case to determine your eligibility to file a lawsuit. If mistakes were made that caused you and your family additional suffering, you deserve to be compensated. Call us today.