A patient (the plaintiff) in a medical malpractice case is, generally, ill or disabled when he or she goes under the care of the doctor (the defendant). Can such a plaintiff win a medical malpractice case, if the only injury he or she suffered is the worsening of an already existing injury?
The simple answer, for Maryland, is yes. A plaintiff can successfully seek money damages for the aggravation of a preexisting injury.
The question, however, is a fair one.
After all, if the previous injury or condition relates to the same part of the body that the plaintiff is seeking compensation for, then it can create problems for the jury in determining what would be fair compensation for the injury the defendant’s negligence actually caused.
Further, at trial, the defendant doctor may even argue that, while the plaintiff has an injury, the plaintiff has not been further injured. The lack of a substantial, additional injury could be a persuasive defense, likely creating in the jury a reluctance to find the defendant doctor to blame.
Preexisting injury cases present special challenges. Many plaintiff attorneys will avoid taking them, but not all of us will.
If you have suffered an injury due to the negligence of a medical professional in Maryland, you may have questions about your legal options. If you have not yet started a lawsuit and are contemplating bringing one, I encourage you to contact me today. I can answer your legal questions and would love to talk with you. You can reach me at 410-513-9978 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.