Q What kinds of pre-existing medical conditions can hurt my malpractice claim?
When pursuing a malpractice claim, it is extremely important to be able to prove that your injury was caused as a direct result of a doctor’s or hospital’s negligence. However, even if you have undeniable proof, making a case against a doctor or hospital can be difficult. In addition to gathering evidence from uncooperative witnesses, any sign of a pre-existing condition can cast serious doubt on the validity of your claim.
So what can you do? If you’re injured as a result of a doctor’s or hospital’s mistake, but you happen to have a pre-existing condition, does that mean you can’t pursue a malpractice claim?
Pre-existing Conditions That Can Affect Your Claim
Determining the relationship between a pre-existing condition and harm done by medical staff is difficult. If the courts determine that you would have suffered harm due to an existing health condition no matter what the doctor did, your recovery could be limited. For example, if you have asthma and arrive at the emergency room with a broken leg, the treating physician may not be liable for further injuries you suffer as a result of the asthma not related to the broken leg. Unfortunately, malpractice settlements become much more complicated when you have existing medical conditions such as:
- Injuries sustained from a previous, unrelated accident such as broken bones, brain injuries, psychological trauma, etc.
- Congenital abnormalities such as blood disorders, tachycardia, cystic fibrosis, etc.
- Injuries that did not heal properly or are in the process of healing.
- Medical conditions that disappear and reappear under stress like asthma, seizures, or epilepsy.
You Need Expert Representation
Pre-existing medical conditions make malpractice cases more difficult, which is why you need an experienced malpractice attorney on your side. Contact us today for an evaluation of your case. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for periodic legal updates and advice.