The statute of limitations is a rule that requires you to bring your lawsuit within a specific deadline. In New York, a lawsuit for medical malpractice must be started within two years and six months after the date of the malpractice, and the statute of limitations is two years if the patient dies as a result of the malpractice. If you have a case against a federal agency, or a state, city or county hospital, your deadline is even shorter.
In claims against a county, state or city hospital, you must file a legal document known as a "notice of claim" within 90 days after the malpractice. If your lawyer does not file the notice of claim, you may lose your rights.
There is nothing a lawyer can do for you once the statute of limitations on your case expires. Your rights vanish! If you have the strongest malpractice case ever, it is meaningless if the statute of limitations has expired.