In 2011, New York legislators left out a proposed provision in the budget which would have placed a cap on medical malpractice damages.
Let's talk about that concept and the overall idea of medical malpractice.
Under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2011 proposal, the state would have set a maximum amount that a plaintiff could recover in a medical malpractice case for pain and suffering damages.
That amount would have been $250,000, the Post-Standard of Syracuse reported.
But consumer groups as well as New York personal injury lawyers weren't having any of that. That's in contrast to doctors, who were thrilled at the idea of having a limit on medical malpractice damage awards.
(Currently, there are 35 states that have limits on medical malpractice damage awards, The New York Times reports.. But again, New York is not one of them.)
The thing is that doctors typically have to bear the huge burden of defending themselves against malpractice. This includes not only paying for insurance to protect against these cases, but also paying out-of-pocket fees when the insurance caps out.
A medical malpractice lawsuit arises when a doctor or another healthcare provider acts negligently or recklessly and causes injury to the patient. In general, that can be proven if the medical provider deviated from generally accepted medical standards.
Damages can usually be recovered for pain, suffering, loss of wages and any other economic losses suffered as a result of medical malpractice. While economic losses can be easy to measure, damages for pain and suffering aren't always so easy to figure out.
In any malpractice claim, the first step would be to look into the statute of limitations. In New York, the statute of limitations on a medical malpractice lawsuit is two and a half years in most cases.
That means in general, you have two and a half years from the time the alleged medical malpractice occurred to file a claim in court. There are some exceptions, however; for example, patients have just one year to sue over foreign objects left inside their bodies during surgery.
Because medical malpractice damages, and statute of limitations issues, can get complicated, it's best to have an experienced personal injury lawyer at your side. Check out the resources below to find a lawyer and learn more about how to pursue a malpractice claim.
- First Steps in Medical Malpractice Claims (FindLaw)
- Whistleblower Alleges Shady Organ Harvesting; Could Lead to More Lawsuits (FindLaw's New York Personal Injury Law Blog)
- Consult a New York Personal Injury Law Attorney (FindLaw)