Staten Island, NY- Imagine if one day you found out you have cancer in the late stages after repeatedly seeing a doctor about a health issue. You’d probably be very angry if doctor missed your curable cancer and your conditioned worsened. Or worse, you lost a loved one because of a cancer misdiagnosis. Until recently, it is hard to recover compensation because of the state’s discovery rule.
New York Legislature Passes Lavern’s Law
In late June, the New York Legislature passed a scaled back version of Laverne’s Law, legislation that will allow cancer patients with curable cancer to get justice if their disease is not discovered right away, according to the New York Daily News.
Under the state’s previous medical malpractice laws, the statute of limitations for a claim of misdiagnosis had to be filed within two and a half years of the missed diagnosis. Since some cancers kill slower than others, a person who is misdiagnosed could fail to discover their disease until after the statute of limitations expires.
Lavern Wilkinson had a curable form of lung cancer, but she didn’t know until it was too late. Her doctor noticed a mass on one of her lungs but never told Wilkinson. Even though treatment would have cured her cancer, she missed the chance because of her misdiagnosis and died in 2013.
The law named after Lavern will ensure that any cancer patient who is misdiagnosed can get justice for their suffering. It also ensures that families who lost a loved one due to medical negligence can recover medical malpractice compensation without having to meet discovery rule deadline. Very few states, only six, have time limits on discovery for medical malpractice claims.
Advocates of the law had been hoping lawmakers would include a provision giving time-barred malpractice victims one year to file a claim, but they did not. Unfortunately, because the legislature omitted that provision, Wilkinson’s family won’t be allowed to recover compensation, but the law will ensure no other family in Staten Island or the state of New York is denied justice.
Misdiagnosis is Common
A recent study by the investigative journalists at ProPublica found that 225,000 Americans die because of medical malpractice. A misdiagnosis occurs when a person is hurt because a doctor or medical professional neglected to diagnose an individual’s illness or a condition that a capable doctor would recognize and discover. If a patient would have experienced a better outcome if they had not been misdiagnosed, they may have a valid malpractice claim.
Speak to a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Staten Island
Medical malpractice is one of the most complex areas of personal injury law. These cases can be difficult to win because they have a higher burden of proof and pre-filing requirements. You need help if you plan on filing a medical malpractice claim. USAttorneys.com can connect you with a medical malpractice lawyer in Staten Island who can help you get a generous settlement.