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June 6, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Statute of Limitations in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

Have you been impacted by a medical error during treatment? Don't miss your chance to seek justice! Understand New York's medical malpractice deadlines and protect your rights. 

Statute of Limitations in New York Medical Malpractice Cases

“Statute of Limitations” refers to a state law that sets a deadline for legal action to be taken against doctors, nurses, medical professionals, and even medical institutions by person(s) who received inadequate medical care that resulted in serious injury and/or death. 

In New York, the statute of limitations to file a claim is two and a half years, or 30 months, from the incident. There are several exceptions that come with their own statute of limitations. Exceptions include - discovery of a foreign body, negligent cancer diagnosis, minors injured due to negligence, insanity, and wrongful death. 

What You Need to Know About Medical Malpractice Cases

It is not your responsibility to pay for mistakes caused by someone else. Medical Malpractice cases are extremely difficult to navigate without an experienced team of lawyers with a record of success behind you. To qualify as medical malpractice, the negligence must have deviated significantly from professional health care accepted standards. 

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professionals, and/or institutions fail to provide essential care to patients before, during, and after a procedure. The lack of necessary care oftentimes results in serious injury and in some cases, wrongful death. 

Medical malpractice cases have a wide array of medical negligence that can result in birth injuries, surgical errors, misdiagnosis, medication errors, and again, death. 

What is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in New York?

Medical malpractice cases in New York typically fall under a two and a half year statute of limitation deadline. It is imperative to file a medical malpractice case within two and a half years, or 30 months, from the date of the incident. The sooner you file, the quicker the investigation into your claim will be. The statute of limitations hinders many medical malpractice claims given the short timeframe to file. 

However, there are exceptions to the standard two and a half year statute of limitations. Those exceptions include continuous treatment, foreign objects, minors, wrongful death, and claims against the government. All of these exceptions come with their own statute of limitations. 

What is the Discovery Rule?

The Discovery Rule comes into focus when a patient discovers medical personnel mistreating/misdiagnosing a larger issue. For example, a patient regularly sees a doctor for severe headaches/migraines and was given prescription strength medication for their ailments. The doctor did not run any additional diagnostics on the patient before prescribing the medication. More than two and a half years later (the standard statute of limitation in New York for filing a medical malpractice claim), the patient discovers the severe headaches were actually an early indicator of a brain tumor. Due to the doctor not running additional tests, the tumor is now considerably worse. 

By utilizing the discovery rule, the patient can still bring forward a medical malpractice claim against the doctor or the institution due to the gross negligence of not discovering the tumor in the early stages. This gives the patient the opportunity to bring forth a claim within two and a half years or 30 months from the discovery of the tumor.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

As mentioned above, there are some exceptions to the statute of limitations. These exceptions come with their own statutes of limitations which could be beneficial to those filing the medical malpractice claims.

Continuous Treatment

This exception is similar to the discovery rule. The statute of limitations for filing a claim starts after treatment from a medical professional has ended. Many patients fear that filing a medical malpractice claim during ongoing treatment will result in even worse treatment from their doctor.

Discovery of Foreign Objects

If a foreign object was left in the patient’s body, usually due to a surgical error, the statute of limitations is one year from the date that object was discovered by the patient.


If a minor was the victim of medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is ten years from the date of the incident or the date when the victim reaches 20.5 years of age, whichever comes first.

Negligent Cancer Diagnosis

This exception relates back to the continuous treatment exception, as well as the discovery rule. The patient has two and a half years from the discovery of the tumor or cancer diagnosis.


The state of New York does not place statute of limitations on individuals who are not deemed legal sane. The two and a half year statute of limitations begins when they are deemed legally sane and of wellbeing.

Wrongful Death

The family of the deceased has two and a half years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim.

Claims Against Government Agencies

This applies to government owned facilities such as Veterans Affair Hospitals (also known as V.A. Hospitals), or other state run facilities. This exception comes with a 90 day statute of limitation. However, the court has the ability to extend this deadline due to the extent of the injuries.

What Happens if You Miss the Statute of Limitations?

Unfortunately, if you miss the standard statute of limitations you will lose your right to file a claim. However, if you qualify for one of the exceptions outlined above, there is still hope for justice to be served.

Steps to Take After a Potential Medical Malpractice Incident

It’s incredibly important to contact a law office like Ajlouny Injury Law, if you believe you were a victim of medical malpractice. By contacting us, we can begin investigating the incident and start the claim process while keeping the statute of limitations in mind.

Ajlouny Injury Law: Here to Help

We offer free legal advice from experienced personal injury lawyers to determine how much your case is worth. Contact us by phone or by filling out our online contact form

Call Ajlouny Injury Law to discuss your options today!

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