This year, a monumental change occurred in the New York state statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims. Malpractice victims now have extended time to file a medical malpractice case. If you previously thought that you had run out of time to file your medical malpractice lawsuit, you may find that you can still recover for your mistreatment.
Until early this year, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits ended 15 months after the misdiagnosis or medical error occurred. Tragically, this restrictive definition prevented many lawsuits and recovery for who didn’t realize malpractice had occurred until it was too late. In New York State, many victims of medical error were unable to get the justice they deserved and the money they needed to fix, correct, or at least make up for the mistakes.
New York State has now closed the loophole in the system that punished injured patients and their families and allowed medical professionals to get away with hurting or even killing their patients. The new law, known as Lavern’s Law, extends the statute of limitations to 2.5 years after the discovery of the misdiagnosis or medical error rather than 15 months after the misdiagnosis or error occurred. Not only do these changes allow victims more time to file their cases, but people who were previously denied the ability to file a case have an opportunity to do so now, and should immediately investigate their options.
On January 30th, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Lavern’s Law. The law is named after Lavern Wilkerson, a 41 year old New York patient who died from treatable lung cancer after her doctors failed to notify her of a mass in her lung that appeared on her X-ray. Ms. Wilkerson, a single mother, was unable to file suit and provide for her orphaned daughter because she didn’t discover the doctors’ mistakes until after the fifteen month statute of limitation had passed.
If you have been a victim of medical malpractice and thought that your case was invalid in New York due to the statute of limitations, you may finally be able to seek the justice you deserve. You can now file your case up to 2.5 years after discovering medical malpractice.
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The New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA) Patient’s Rights Page. NYSTLA was instrumental in getting this necessary law passed.
Informative article about What Plaintiffs Need To Know About Misdiagnosis and Failure To Diagnose Claims
Information from The American Association For Justice About Medical Errors https://www.justice.org/what-we-do/advocate-civil-justice-system/issue-advocacy/medical-errors