Bronx Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Medical Malpractice in New York
According to several recent studies, including one from John Hopkins, medical malpractice is likely the third-leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer. Approximately 10 percent of all deaths in the U.S. are related to medical error—and medical error is an underrecognized cause of death, meaning the actual numbers could be much higher.
If you were injured or if someone you love died due to medical malpractice or error, reach out to Wolf & Fuhrman LLP as soon as possible. For more than 30 years, our Bronx medical malpractice attorneys have represented victims of medical error and their families.
We have handled all types of medical malpractice cases and have successfully recovered favorable settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients. We have had cases where cancer findings were reported on imaging studies or pathology reports and not appreciated or acted upon by the physician who ordered those tests. We have handled cases where screening guidelines were not followed, and cancer was therefore not timely diagnosed. We have represented children, parents, and families in birth injury cases where a physician failed to properly and timely monitor an expectant mother, causing injury to the mother and/or child. Even something as seemingly simple as failing to order diagnostic tests could be considered medical malpractice.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
In the most general terms, medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider (such as a doctor, nurse, or hospital) fails to properly care for a patient. All medical providers are held to certain standards of care; these standards are generally accepted as being the baseline for what constitutes adequate care, and anything that falls below these standards is deemed inadequate care.
To have grounds for a medical malpractice case, you must typically prove each of the following elements:
- The defendant had a legal responsibility to provide you with medical care (i.e., a doctor-patient relationship existed)
- The defendant failed to uphold the standard of acceptable care, meaning they provided you with substandard care
- You were injured and/or suffered physical, emotional, or financial harm as a result of the defendant’s error, negligence, or wrongful conduct
It is not enough to merely show that you sought treatment for a condition, and your condition did not heal, or that your loved one died after being treated by a medical professional. You must prove that the medical provider failed to take actions another qualified provider would have taken or took actions that another medical provider would not have taken in the same or similar circumstances.
At Wolf & Fuhrman LLP, we have extensive experience handling highly complex medical malpractice cases, including those involving:
- Anesthesia errors
- Birth injuries
- Delayed diagnosis
- Dismissal of a patient’s symptoms
- Early discharge
- Emergency room errors
- Failure to consider a patient’s medical history
- Failure to diagnose cancer or infection in a timely manner
- Failure to order proper and/or timely tests
- Hospital negligence
- Lab errors
- Medication errors
- Pharmacy errors
- Surgical errors
- Poor follow-up/aftercare
If you or someone you love was harmed due to medical malpractice, Wolf & Fuhrman LLP is ready to fight for you and the compensation you deserve.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice Cases in New York?
Depending on the type of medical malpractice case you have, several statutes of limitations (or filing deadlines) may apply.
In general, you have two years and six months from the date on which the alleged malpractice occurred to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in New York. If malpractice occurred during the “ongoing course of treatment,” the statute of limitations does not begin until the date on which treatment ended. Additionally, in certain cases, the state’s “discovery rule” may come into play. The discovery rule generally applies when the patient could not have reasonably known that they had a viable medical malpractice case, meaning they could not have reasonably known that they were injured immediately after the underlying act of malpractice or negligence occurred.
In New York, the discovery rule only applies in the following two situations:
- Left-Behind Objects: If a foreign object is left behind in a patient’s body following a medical procedure, the plaintiff has one year from the date on which the foreign object was discovered or one year from the date on which they learned certain facts that could reasonably allow them to realize the foreign object was there to file a lawsuit. This does not apply to surgical clips, devices, or sutures that were intentionally inserted in the body.
- Failure to Diagnose Cancer: A recent law (known as Lavern’s Law) enacted in 2018 makes it so that in cases involving a medical provider’s failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis, or misdiagnosis of cancer, the plaintiff has two years and six months from the date on which the cancer was discovered or from when the patient learned or reasonably should have learned that a diagnostic error occurred to file a lawsuit. In any case, a lawsuit cannot be filed if more than seven years have passed since the date of underlying negligence or malpractice.
For children, the statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases does not begin until the child turns 18. In other words, the child has two years and six months from their 18th birthday to file a medical malpractice claim (with some exceptions).
In all cases, it is always better to act sooner rather than later. If you suspect that you or someone you love is the victim of medical malpractice, reach out to our team at Wolf & Fuhrman LLP right away. We can immediately begin an investigation into the facts of your case and can start building a powerful and persuasive claim on your behalf.