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New York Bill Extends Statute of Limitations for Cancer Medical Malpractice Claims

courtIn the vast majority of cases, the key to surviving cancer is early detection, diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately, doctors sometimes miss a cancer diagnosis and deprive patients the chance to beat the disease. If you have suffered or lost a loved one because of a doctor’s failure to diagnose cancer, you need to reach out to a reputable Syracuse medical malpractice attorney without delay. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers,

Earlier this month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that extends the statute of limitations for cancer-related malpractice lawsuits. Put another way, the bill would extend the amount of time in which a patient can file a medical malpractice lawsuit for a missed cancer diagnosis. Referred to as ‘Lavern’s law,’ the bill gives patients a two-and-a-half year time frame to file a malpractice claim from when they discover a mistake or a missed misdiagnosis involving cancer. Currently, the clock starts when the mistake is made as opposed to when it is discovered, This means patients often lose their chance to sue even before they discover there has been a mistake.

The law is is named after Lavern Wilkinson, a woman from the Bronx who died in 2013 at age 41 after doctors failed to detect that she had a curable form of lung cancer. It is important to note that the bill would offer a window for cases going back seven years. The changes only apply to cancer cases and not other illnesses. The bill, unsurprisingly, was strongly opposed by physicians and hospitals who believe that the measure will only inflate the cost of liability insurance.

When a doctor fails to diagnose a patient with cancer, the patient won’t even know to get treated. This means the patient’s cancer will spread, be harder to treat and, in the most serious cases, be untreatable leading to the patient’s death. If you find yourself in this situation, you can file a medical malpractice claim against the doctor or hospital responsible for the missed diagnosis. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional causes harm by failing to use the level of care and caution that a medical professional in the same specialty would have used under the same or similar circumstances. In New York, to establish malpractice, the plaintiff must show the following: the medical professional owed the patient a duty of care; the medical professional breached that duty of care owed to the patient by failing to diagnose cancer; and the patient suffered injury or death as a direct result of the medical professional’s breach.

Unfortunately, undiagnosed cancer is one of the most common forms of medical malpractice. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a missed cancer diagnoses, you need to speak to a seasoned Syracuse medical malpractice attorney who can help. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, we aim to settle every case but you can rest assured that we have the resources and resolve to advocate for you in the courtroom when necessary. We are here to answer your questions and address your concerns. To learn more, please call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us online.

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