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You Just Learned You Have Cancer. You Believe Your Doctor SHOULD HAVE Diagnosed Your Cancer Earlier. Learn What the NEW Time Limit is in Which You Have to File a Lawsuit in New York...

The time limit to file a lawsuit is known as the 'statute of limitations'.
In medical malpractice cases, that time limit is different if you intend on suing a private hospital compared to a municipal hospital.
That time limit is different if the wrongdoing happened to child compared to an adult.

The time limit to sue a doctor is different if you claim that your doctor left something inside of you during surgery.

***WARNING***

The time limits I am about to describe are ONLY valid as of today, the day I'm writing this article: February 4, 2018. 
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES CAN YOU RELY ON THIS ARTICLE OR ANYTHING YOU READ OR SEE ONLINE TO TELL YOU WHETHER YOUR MATTER IS TIMELY. THE ONLY WAY TO KNOW FOR CERTAIN IF YOUR MATTER IS TIMELY IS TO SPEAK TO AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY.

In New York, the 'general' time limit to sue a private doctor (if you are an adult) is only two and a half years from the date of the wrongdoing.

Here's an example of that...

Let's say you saw your doctor on January 1, 2015. 
You believe he should have diagnosed your cancer on that date.
You had symptoms to suggest you needed a biopsy.

You had symptoms to suggest you needed a mammogram.
Your clinical picture indicated that you needed a breast surgeon's evaluation.
But none of that happened.

Instead, you were calmly reassured that everything was Ok and sent on your way.
Two years later, on January 1, 2017 you were diagnosed with advanced metastatic breast cancer.
Stage IV.

In the 'old days' (before February 6, 2018) you had only two and a half years from the date of the wrongdoing in which to sue your private doctor for medical malpractice. In this example, you are only two years out from the wrongdoing, still giving you time in which to bring a lawsuit for all the harms, losses and damages you suffed because of your doctors' carelessness.

Let's change this hypothetical example for a moment...

Let's say that instead of being diagnosed January 1, 2017, you were finally diagnosed with cancer on January 1, 2018.
Let's also say that the last time you saw your doctor for the specific complaint of having a breast lump was on January 1, 2015.
According to the 'old' law, you'd have only two and a half years from the date of the wrongdoing in which to file suit against your negligent doctor.

In this fact pattern, your time limit would have EXPIRED, and you would NOT be permitted to file your lawsuit.

HERE'S THE NEW LAW (valid only as of today, February 6, 2018)...

Using the last fact pattern I described above, you last saw your doctor for complaints about your breast on January 1, 2015.
You were finally diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer three years later on January 1, 2018.
In the 'old' days, you would NOT have been able to sue because your time limit would have expired.

But with the 'NEW' law, commonly referred to as "LAVERN'S LAW," your matter would still be timely.
Why?
Because the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo just signed a bill into law that was a compromise between the Republicans and the Democrats concerning failure to diagnose cancer cases here in NY.

The NEW law gives cancer misdiagnosis patients additional time FROM THE DATE OF DISCOVERING THE MISDIAGNOSIS to sue their careless doctor or hospital. This new time period is known as the 'date of discovery' rule.
As of today, February 6, 2018, you now have two and a half years from the date of discovering that wrongdoing in which to file suit.

In this last example, you would have two and a half years from the date of discovering your doctor's misdiagnosis after January 1, 2018 in which to file suit (provided of course that this discovery ocurred no later than seven years from the misdiagnosis).

HOWEVER, HERE'S ANOTHER WARNING!

There are still restrictions in this new law that have not been explored by the courts yet.
What happens if you die soon after your cancer diagnosis? How much time do you have then?

According to the 'old' law, your surviving family members would have ONLY two years from the date of your death in which to file suit against your careless private doctor or private hospital. Having not seen the exact wording of the new law yet, it is unclear if this still applies.

Let's change the fact pattern now...

Let's say you were being treated in a municipal hospital, maybe at Jacobi hospital or Bellevue hospital or Kings County hospital.
You last saw a doctor in the clinic for complaints about your breast on January 1, 2015.
You were finally diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer three years later on January 1, 2018.

In New York, according to the 'old' law, you would have only 90 days from the date of the wrongdoing in which to file a notice of claim against the municipal agency responsible for the hospital. This claim put the municipality on notice that something was up and warned them you were about to file a lawsuit soon after.

A 'notice of claim' allows the municipality to begin an investigation into your claim.

Then, after you filed your notice of claim, you would have ONLY one year and ninety days from the date of the wrongdoing in which to file your lawsuit against the municipal agency responsible for that careless doctor or hospital staff.

In cancer misdiagnosis cases, that time limit has now changed.

As of today, February 6, 2018, you would have two and a half years from the date of DISCOVERING the wrongdoing in which to file suit against the municipal agency.

Here's another warning...
It's not yet clear when a patient or their surviving family would need to file a notice of claim against the municipal agency. That will need some clarification. Also not clear is how much time a surviving family member would need to file a notice of claim following your death in which to be considered timely.

Here's yet another warning you should know about...

The law says the time begins to run when you know or reasonably should have known of the wrongdoing and the wrongdoing caused injury. This will be an issue to be litigated in the future as different fact patterns emerge.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Instead of having only two and a half years (in a case involving a private physician or hospital) in which to file suit for cancer misdiagnosis, you'll now have two and a half years from the date of discovering the wrongdoing. (Remember, there are certain restrictions associated with that new time period!)

In a case against a municipal hospital or municipal physician, instead of having only one year and ninety days in which to file suit, you'll now have two and a half years from the date of discovering the wrongdoing in which to file suit. (There are certain restrictions associated with that new time period!)

**SORRY TO BURST YOUR BUBBLE, BUT I MUST GIVE YOU THIS WARNING AGAIN!**

The time limits I described are ONLY valid as of today, the day I'm writing this article: February 4, 2018. 
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES CAN YOU RELY ON THIS ARTICLE OR ANYTHING YOU READ OR SEE ONLINE TO TELL YOU WHETHER YOUR MATTER IS TIMELY. THE ONLY WAY TO KNOW FOR CERTAIN IF YOUR MATTER IS TIMELY IS TO SPEAK TO AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY.

To learn more about the new time limit to sue for failure to diagnose cancer cases, I invite you to watch the quick video below...


Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer