Can I File a Medical Malpractice Claim with a Preexisting Condition?


You can file a medical malpractice claim – and win compensation – if you have a preexisting condition. It’s entirely possible for a doctor’s negligence to aggravate a preexisting condition or inflict a new injury or illness, and the fact of having a preexisting condition is never an excuse for medical negligence.

What Is a Preexisting Condition?

A preexisting condition is a medical issue that existed prior to an individual enrolling in health insurance. Preexisting conditions can range from chronic illnesses to mental health issues, and are important for insurers to consider when providing coverage.

Examples of common preexisting conditions include:

  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Arthritis
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Sleep apnea
  • Obesity
  • Chronic kidney disease

Doctors must provide appropriate care for all patients, regardless of any existing health issues. Patients should feel comfortable in bringing up any concerns with their physician or healthcare provider and have the right to receive quality treatment.

How Does a Preexisting Condition Affect a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Generally, plaintiffs may not sue for preexisting conditions that were not caused by medical negligence. If a plaintiff can prove that medical negligence caused a new injury or illness unrelated to a preexisting condition, they can recover damages. Likewise, plaintiffs can recover damages for new injuries caused by medical malpractice when they aggravate preexisting conditions.

Additionally, if an existing condition is simply not treated or managed properly by a doctor or other healthcare provider, malpractice may be the result. If a healthcare provider fails to diagnose a preexisting condition, this could also constitute medical malpractice. In these cases, it’s important for plaintiffs to prove that the injury was caused by negligence and not just the underlying condition itself.


Navigating a medical malpractice claim involving pre-existing conditions can be challenging, but with the right knowledge and legal representation, you can increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation.

If you or a loved one have suffered harm due to medical negligence, the Law Office of David A. Kates, PLLC is here to help. Our experienced attorney has many years of experience in medical malpractice cases and can guide you through the process, ensuring your rights are protected.

Contact us today to request a consultation!