New Bill Could Be Beneficial For Medical Malpractice Victims

Lever & Ecker, PLLC June 16, 2016 General

A new bill which has been proposed to state lawmakers in New York would change the statute of limitation laws in medical malpractice lawsuits.

Changes To The Statute Of Limitationssurigcal instruments of surgeon who committed medical malpractice

Currently, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits requires the plaintiff to file their claim within 2 ½ years of the alleged malpractice. This new legislation would change that in a way that would benefit the patient. It would still give the patient only 2 ½ years to file, however, that time period would not begin until the date that the patient first realizes that they were harmed by a medical professional. There is a restriction, though – in order for this to be applicable, the complaint must be filed within 10 years of the original harmful incident.

Opposition To The Bill

The Medical Society of the State of New York is strongly opposing the bill because they believe that it will result in an increase in medical malpractice insurance premiums and health care costs.

Medical Malpractice In New York

New York has consistently been in the top five states for medical malpractice payouts for the last several decades. In 2013 alone, $763,088,250 was paid to plaintiffs through settlements and successful verdicts. In 31% of the cases filed, plaintiffs alleged that the injury sustained by the patient directly caused the death of a loved one.

How Do I Know If I Was Harmed By My Doctor?

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional deviates from the generally accepted “standard of care”. This basically means that they did not follow the course of treatment that is generally accepted by the medical community for the condition the patient suffers from. The standard of care can be different from patient to patient based on their age, weight, sex, and other medical conditions they suffer from.

What If I Think I Was Harmed By A Nurse?

Medical malpractice lawsuits aren’t limited to just doctors. Any medical professional, such as nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, and EMTs can all be named as the defendant in a lawsuit. 

The Most Common Causes:

The majority of all medical malpractice claims involve:scar obtained from medical malpractice

  • Surgical Errors
  • Childbirth Errors
  • Prescription Errors
  • Failure To Diagnose
  • Misdiagnosis

I Signed A Consent Form – Do I Still Have A Case?

Yes, even if you signed a consent form, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. The consent form generally means that you simply agree to the form of treatment that has been recommended by your doctor. This does not, however, mean that they did their part in explaining the potential risks to you or that they will perform the procedure correctly.

What Damages Are Available?

By filing a lawsuit, plaintiffs can potentially gain compensation for:

Past And Future Medical Expenses

Plaintiffs are often already in debt due to the treatments they received for their initial medical condition and then they are forced to receive additional treatment due to the harm caused to them by a medical mistake. Damages frequently award money to cover the past expenses and expected future medical expenses.

Loss Of Income

If the injury resulted in the plaintiff being unable to return to the work that they were doing prior to their condition or from returning to work permanently, it may be possible to be awarded compensation for that loss.

Pain And Suffering

If the patient has been left with permanent scarring or constant pain, non-monetary damages can be awarded.

Does Every Case Go To Court?

No. In fact, most medical malpractice lawsuits end with a settlement. However, we do prepare each case from the beginning for trial. Our attorneys will guide you every step of the way and will inform you of all legal options available to you.