Yes, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit if you have a pre-existing condition. With the exception of routine physical exams, you’re at the doctor because you have a condition that led you to make an appointment. If the law prevented patients with pre-existing conditions from suing for malpractice, it would prevent anyone from suing.
A pre-existing condition is never to blame for malpractice. The physician is still held liable for medical malpractice regardless of any conditions.
What is a Pre-existing Condition?
A pre-existing condition is any injury, illness, or medical condition that existed before the procedure in question was performed. These conditions can include:
- Physical or mental injuries from a previous, unrelated accident, such as broken bones, brain damage, or psychological trauma
- Healing or improperly healing injuries (especially those to the joints, spine, or neck)
- Congenital abnormalities, or “birth defects,” such as blood disorders, tachycardia, and cystic fibrosis
- Medical conditions that are aggravated by or appear under stress, like asthma and epilepsy
- Allergies to medication
In a medical malpractice case, relevant pre-existing conditions are the ones that would affect the harm done in the instance of malpractice.
Will My Pre-Existing Condition Affect My Settlement?
A pre-existing condition may affect the outcome of a settlement.
Pre-existing conditions make it difficult to identify the cause of error in a medical malpractice case. It could be difficult to prove which injuries were caused by the doctor and which ones existed before the injury.
It’s important to provide indefinite evidence to support claims in a malpractice allegation, such as:
- Second opinions
- Expert witness testimony
- Official medical records
A doctor only knows what’s on your chart, and what you tell him. If a physician should have known about a condition and aggravated it—even in cases it wouldn’t normally be negligent—there exists a possibility for medical malpractice.
People are often obligated to disclose pre-existing conditions in cases like insurance policies and employment claims. Failure to do so can have legal consequences. A medical malpractice attorney with experience in cases similar will be able to help clarify everything you need to know.
Where Can I Find a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
Having a pre-existing condition doesn’t mean that you have to accept being the victim of negligence. Our experienced Indianapolis medical malpractice attorneys can do everything in our power to fight for your settlement. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out a contact form to reach out. Consultations are absolutely free.