All states, including New York, limit the amount of time you have within which to file a lawsuit. The purpose of these statutes of limitations is to prevent someone from gaining an unfair advantage in a lawsuit by waiting so long to file that witnesses forget what they saw and other evidence is lost.

When it comes to a claim against a doctor for medical malpractice, what the doctor did wrong could affect the amount of time you have to sue. As a general rule, if you have been injured because of a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose a medical condition, the time within which you must file your lawsuit against the negligent doctor is two years and six months from the date of the injury.

The time to file a lawsuit could be longer if the medical malpractice was committed during a continuing course of treatment. In that situation, the two years and six months is computed from the date of the conclusion of the treatment.

A surgical error might have a different statute of limitations if a surgical instrument or other foreign object was left in your body by the doctor. The statute of limitations in such a situation is one year from the date of discovery of the object. In order to prevent abuse by an injured plaintiff, the law includes a provision imposing a reasonableness standard. The one year runs from either discovery or from when a plaintiff should reasonably have been expected to discover the object.

If you have been the victim of medical errors by a health care provider, you might have a claim for compensation. Contacting a New City personal injury immediately can help to preserve your right to sue and avoid a statute of limitations issue.