Updated May 30, 2020

Can I Sue My Doctor for Malpractice If I Have a Preexisting Condition?

Yes, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit if you have a preexisting 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 preexisting conditions from suing for malpractice, it would prevent anyone from suing.

A preexisting condition is never to blame for malpractice. The physician is still held liable for medical malpractice, regardless of any conditions.

What Is a Preexisting Condition?

A preexisting 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 preexisting conditions are the ones that would affect the harm done in the instance of malpractice.

Will My Preexisting Condition Affect My Settlement?

A preexisting condition may affect the outcome of a settlement.

Preexisting 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:

A doctor only knows what’s on your chart, and what you tell them. 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 preexisting conditions in cases like insurance policies and employment claims. Failure to do so can have legal consequences. A medical malpractice attorney with experience in similar cases will be able to clarify everything you need to know.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

Having a preexisting condition doesn’t mean you have to accept being the victim of negligence. If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of medical malpractice, you are urged to contact the attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. An experienced Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer at WKW can help you 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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