NY Medical Malpractice: Injured in a City Hospital- How Much Time Do I Have To File A Claim?
You've been injured while in a City-owned, municipal hospital. Not just any hospital in New York City, a municipal hospital. You need to know how much time you have to file a claim against the hospital, and how much time you have to file a lawsuit.
First, here are a list of municipal hospitals in New York City: (I've taken it directly from the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation Website, http://www.nyc.gov/html/hhc/html/facilities/directory.shtml)
Bellevue Hospital Center
Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility Franklin D. Roosevelt Island
Gouverneur Healthcare Services
Harlem Hospital Center
Metropolitan Hospital Center
Renaissance Health Care Network Diagnostic & Treatment Center
Jacobi Medical Center
Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center
Morrisania Diagnostic & Treatment Center
North Central Bronx Hospital
Segundo Ruiz Belvis Diagnostic & Treatment Center
Coney Island Hospital
Cumberland Diagnostic & Treatment Center
East New York Diagnostic & Treatment Center
Kings County Hospital Center
Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center
Elmhurst Hospital Center
Queens Hospital Center
Generally, you have only 90 days from the date of the malpractice within which to file a claim against the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (that corporation is technically the entity that owns and is responsible for these municipal health care facilities).
If for some reason you have missed the deadline to file a claim, there are certain limited exceptions that might allow you to file your claim late. However, in order to do this, your lawyer will have to ask a Court for special permission to file late, and there are specific legal reasons why your case might be accepted even though it is late, and many reasons why it will not be accepted.
The important point to remember is that if you even suspect that something was done wrong at a municipal hospital within the City of New York (that means within the 5 boroughs, New York, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and The Bronx) you must contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer immediately in order to protect your rights to bring a claim and then a lawsuit.
In the State of New York, you must file a claim that is timely FIRST, before you can ever file a lawsuit. This is known as a 'pre-requisite'. Your claim must be filed first, and then you have a limited time in which to start your lawsuit.
Typically, you have only one year and 90 days from the date of the malpractice within which to start your lawsuit against the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. There are very few exceptions to this rule.
**THIS IS IMPORTANT!** Even though this information is accurate as of the time of this writing (November 20, 2007) you must consult an experienced New York medical malpractice attorney to confirm that it is still accurate at the time you believe you have a claim.
Importantly, you cannot wait years to bring a claim or a lawsuit against one of the hospitals listed above. You must act immediately. As always, speak to a qualified lawyer who handles cases similar to yours before making any decision about the time to file a claim and the time to start a lawsuit. Being an informed consumer will make you a better client and help you understand how the legal system works.