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Can a pre-existing condition affect a medical malpractice claim?

Whether due to a misdiagnosis, surgical error, prescription drug error or more, suffering medical malpractice can be terrifying. However, if you had a pre-existing condition prior to the negligent incident, can you still pursue a claim alleging malpractice?

A pre-existing condition should not deter Connecticut patients from holding their doctor, physician, surgeon, nurse or more accountable. In many cases, the medical professional, rather than your condition, is still responsible for the actions that resulted in further harm to you.

Breaking down pre-existing conditions

A pre-existing condition can include a wide array of illnesses, injuries or other conditions. Essentially, it includes any sort of medical condition that existed prior to your treatment, procedure or visit. This could include chronic back or hip pain, allergies, mental disorders, broken bones or other physical injuries, birth defects and more.

The elements of pursuing a medical malpractice claim

Many assume that because they had hip pain before their botched hip replacement surgery or back pain before aggressive treatment for a herniated disc, they have no case to pursue. However, particularly with the recent prevalence of malpractice claims, you may still have a case, regardless of your pain prior to the negligent incident.

Key elements in proving medical malpractice include causation and proving the error made your life worse. In proving causation, you must show that the doctor strayed from the standard of care in their diagnosis, treatment plan, surgery or more. In proving the error made your life worse, you must show that because of the care provided, your condition has become substantially worse.

You must provide compelling evidence for both elements, which may include:

  • Opinions from other medical professionals. You must attain both a second opinion from a physician and have witness testimony from a medical expert.
  • Detailed medical records. Hospital and other medical records, including any X-rays, MRIs, diagnoses, records of doctor’s visits and more are important.
  • Medical bills. To pursue the compensation you deserve, medical bills are key to show the amount you have accrued after receiving improper care.

In any medical malpractice case, it is important to show that your incident went beyond a simple case of a doctor failing to make you better. As the defense team will likely claim that your worsened condition was not a result of the doctor’s care, an attorney can assist in ardently pursuing your case and seeking the financial relief you need.

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