Medical Malpractice Laws

Medical Malpractice can be an area of significant anxiety for physicians. Being knowledgeable in the relevant laws in New York State may help ease some of that anxiety. Below is a summary of some specific malpractice laws in New York State.

  • Is there a dollar cap on the amount of damages a plaintiff can recover?
    35 states have a cap. New York State does not have a cap.
  • Is peer review PI information protected from medical malpractice cases?
    This issue is complex. It is generally believed that peer review PI information is protected. 47 states have specific statutes addressing this issue in the context of medical malpractice litigation. New York State has no such law.
  • What is the Statute of Limitations in New York State?
    In New York State, the statute of limitation is two years and six months from the time of injury. For foreign bodies, a malpractice suit may be commenced within one year of the date of discovery. For minors, the two-and-a-half year time period begins after the patient reaches adulthood.
  • If I apologize to a patient, does that increase my liability?
    Thirty-six states have provisions regarding medical professionals making apologies or sympathetic gestures. New York State does not.
  • Does New York State have a screening panel that has to hear my case before it can go to trial?
    No. Sixteen states have requirements that medical malpractice cases must be heard by a screening panel before trial. New York State does not. In New York state, an attorney must consult with a single physician prior to initiating a lawsuit.
  • What are the rules regarding the expert witness who will testify against me?
    Thirty-two states have laws regarding minimum qualifications for expert witnesses who testify in medical malpractice cases. New York State does not.

Below is a link to an article from WestJEM regarding coping with a medical malpractice suit.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1071237/pdf/wjm17400055.pdf