Updated April 5, 2020
Many people may think that having a preexisting condition means that you can’t file a malpractice lawsuit if a doctor makes a mistake. Given the number of news stories and opinion pieces in the media over the past few years about preexisting conditions and insurance companies, that’s not surprising. It is, however, a common misconception.
In most cases, you wouldn’t be under a doctor’s care if you didn’t have some preexisting condition. Except in the case of a routine physical examination, there’s usually some reason behind going to the doctor in the first place.
Nearly everyone receiving medical care has a preexisting condition. If that precluded patients from filing a lawsuit over a doctor’s mistake, there would be no way to file a malpractice claim at all—even if the doctor was clearly negligent.
Causation is a key element in any personal injury lawsuit. You may have a medical malpractice case if a doctor’s mistake caused you to be injured, sickened, or fail to recover from a treatable condition. The fact that you had some preexisting condition is not what caused the physician to make an error.
In most cases, a patient will be injured or ill and then seek medical care. If the doctor makes some preventable error during their care of the patient, the doctor can be held accountable for the mistake.
One cannot argue that the doctor would not have made the error if the patient hadn’t had some preexisting condition. While it’s true the physician would not have made a mistake if the patient hadn’t sought treatment, it doesn’t imply causation. A reasonably competent doctor is expected to treat the patient’s preexisting condition without error.
If you suspect a medical professional made an error in your health treatment, contact the Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you build a legal case and get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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