> When Should I See A Lawyer?
When Should I See A Lawyer?
||The decision to bring a civil case for malpractice is ultimately a joint decision, of both attorney and client, after full investigation of the facts. |
Therefore, your first decision is not: "should I bring a case?" but "should I see a lawyer?"
Only with the benefit of good information, through an experienced attorney, can you and your attorney make an intelligent decision on whether to seek legal redress. But unless prompt advice is obtained, there is no decision to make.
There are strict time limits in which to file any suit for medical malpractice. Unless a case is brought in the legal period, all rights to do so will expire, no matter how severe the malpractice.
The usual time limit for a malpractice case in New York is two and one-half years from the date of malpractice. In most cases, New York law does not "stop the clock" between the time of actual malpractice, and when it first becomes known to the patient.
For example, the New York Courts have held that when a doctor misses diagnosis of breast cancer, the Statute of Limitations period begins to run from the date of missed diagnosis --even if the cancer is only discovered when the two and one-half year time limit is about to expire!
Other periods may be shorter, as the ninety (90) day "Notice of Claim" period for cases involving municipal or State-run facilities.
Cases of "wrongful death" must generally be brought within two years of the death, though some legal claims of a decedent may expire as short as one year from that date.
You cannot be "your own doctor" and should not try to be your "own lawyer." No person, without qualified advice, should "decide" to bring a legal case. But if you have serious doubts about the medical care you received, you should obtain input from a qualified attorney, to inform you of your options, as soon as possible. Otherwise, "the calendar" will make important decisions for you and for your family.