Statute of Limitations for Podiatric Malpractice Lawsuits

  • Posted on: Feb 28 2017
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What is the statute of limitations for filing a podiatric malpractice lawsuit in New York?

A statute of limitations is a law that restricts the time during which you have a right to file a lawsuit in your state’s civil court system after suffering an injury or loss. These statutes differ in various states, and also vary according to what type of lawsuit is being filed. In New York, as in many states, there is a specific statute of limitations that applies to medical malpractice cases. This law is known as New York Civil Practice Law and Rules section §214-a and §208. If you have suffered injury or worsening of a podiatric condition due to malpractice, it is important to consult with an attorney skilled in podiatric malpractice law as soon as you realize that there is a problem.

Reasons for Podiatric Malpractice Lawsuits

The feet and ankles are complex body parts and treating them can be difficult. This is why it is essential to check out the podiatrist you choose carefully in terms of credentials, personal references and any existing background of previous complaints or lawsuits. Podiatric malpractice suits frequently involve failed surgeries (for bunions, hammertoes, heel spurs, etc.) misdiagnoses, improper treatments, or unnecessary surgeries.

The Actual Time Limits

According to New York civil law, the patient has 2½ years to file a claim in court. If there was a precipitating event that caused your injury, the clock starts ticking on the day you were injured (for example during surgery). On the other hand, if the podiatrist who committed malpractice continues to treat you for the same or similar condition (i.e., follow-up visits after surgery), the time limit begins at the end of that treatment.

However, the courts have been very strict on what constitutes “continuing treatment” and often the courts find that an interruption in the treatment breaks the continuity. There is also a special regulation in New York State covering situations in which a foreign object has been left in the patient’s body during surgery. A lawsuit regarding this kind of medical error must be filed within 1 year of the discovery of the foreign object or on the date that such an error should reasonably have been discovered, whichever is earlier. When filing a lawsuit on behalf of a minor, there is an extended overall limit of 10 years.

You should not try to calculate the time limit for your case since many other variables may apply to your situation. Instead, you should consult with a New York attorney with the experience and knowledge in malpractice cases to find out when the applicable statute of limitations expires in your case.

How is podiatric malpractice established?

In order for a patient’s claim to have a successful outcome, meaning that the patient or family receives substantial compensation, the following things have to be proved during the hearing:

  • The podiatrist was in a position of responsibility to the patient
  • The podiatrist violated the normal standard of care
  • The patient has sustained a compensable injury
  • The harm suffered by the patient was due to the violation of the standard of care

Posted in: Podiatric Malpractice