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Medical Malpractice Basics in the State of New York

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2018 | Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice

If you have been injured as a result of a doctor’s error or misconduct in New York, you may have a basis for a medical malpractice claim.


Generally, medical malpractice involves a doctor or other medical professional who breaches the standard of care and the patient sustains an injury as a result.

For a successful medical malpractice claim, the injured party must first show the existence of a doctor-patient relationship. (For example, if a party receives medical advice at a cocktail party, no doctor-patient relationship exists.) The “standard of care” is the generally accepted kind and level of care a doctor should provide a patient with the patient’s specific condition. In medical malpractice claims, the injured party, the plaintiff, must prove that the doctor’s breach of the standard of the care caused the patient’s injury.


The State of New York also has its own state-specific laws governing medical malpractice cases.

The state of New York has established a statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases. A party’s claim must be filed prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations for the claim to be recognized by a New York court. In New York, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim is two and a half years. This time limitation begins to run after the act that caused the injury or at the end of continuous treatment that resulted in the injury. In foreign object cases, where a doctor has left a foreign object inside the patient, the statute of limitations requires patients to bring a case within one year of the discovery of the object.

Additionally, the attorney for the plaintiff is required to file a Certificate of Merit. In the Certificate of Merit, the plaintiff’s attorney is required to declare that he or she has reviewed the case and consulted with at least one licensed health care expert who the attorney reasonably believes is knowledgeable in the medical issues involved in the plaintiff’s claim and that, based on the review and consultation with the expert, the attorney has concluded there is a “reasonable basis” for the lawsuit.

If the attorney does not have sufficient time to consult with the expert and meet the filing deadline pursuant to the statute of limitations, the attorney may file the certificate within 90 days of serving the complaint on the defendant.


If you think you have a medical malpractice claim, do not delay. Time is of the essence. Before an attorney can file a certificate of merit, they must review the evidence (your medical records) with an expert. Since it takes time to get your records, avoid unnecessary delay. Contact the Law Firm of Frost & Kavanaugh right away. We have proven experience with medical malpractice claims. We do not charge for an initial consultation. Call us today to talk about the facts and circumstances of your case.