Whether you’re looking for a new primary care provider or need to see a specialist, choosing a doctor is an important decision. Not all physicians and health facilities provide the same level of care. In the event a mistake is made, it’s possible it could be deemed medical malpractice.
Because you want to receive the best care for whatever ailment or medical concern you have, you’ll likely want to know whether there have been any formal complaints filed against any physician you’re considering. Let’s take a look at how you can find out if your doctor has ever been sued.
Determining If Your Doctor Has Been Sued
There are a number of different ways to determine if your doctor has been sued. The most common include the following:
- State Medical Boards. Each state licenses its doctors. Because of that, the individual state medical boards handle disciplinary matters. If a doctor was charged and found guilty of medical malpractice and their license was not revoked, it’s possible it was suspended. In Pennsylvania, you can learn about disciplinary actions through the Pennsylvania Department of State website. The Board provides updated information every month.
- State Department of Health Services. If you’re concerned about the hospital you are seeking care from, the state also has reports of formal complaints made against facilities, including issues like improper care or unsafe conditions.
- Court Records. When someone files a medical malpractice claim against a doctor, there is a record of it in the court where it was filed. Many court records are available online. At the very least, you’ll be able to determine if any lawsuits have been filed against a particular doctor—past or present. With court records, it’s important to note that a record of a lawsuit does not necessarily mean the physician was convicted of malpractice.
If you discover your doctor has been sued, you’ll also want to look into what type of complaint was filed against them.
Understanding the Types of Complaints
There are a number of different complaints the patients file against medical professionals and facilities. Most complaints arise after a patient has sustained injuries or losses. Some of the most common include:
- Delayed diagnosis
- Unnecessary surgery
- Premature discharge
- Incomplete discharge instructions
- Medication and drug errors
It’s possible you could see other complaints when you search for lawsuits against physicians. If you choose to pursue legal guidance, your lawyer can help you determine the weight of a physician’s mistakes.
In the event you find yourself in a situation where you need to file a complaint, you’ll want to have the support of a strong legal representative to guide you through the process and ensure you receive the compensation you need to recover.
Choosing the Right Doctor for You
As discussed, finding the right doctor for your needs can be a challenge. If you’re concerned about the possibility of a physician having past or present incidents of malpractice, you can use the steps above to rule that out. Once you’ve done that, you might have a list of physicians to choose from. If that’s the case, remember to look for a doctor who treats you with respect, listens to your opinions and concerns, encourages you to ask questions, and explains things in ways you understand.
You may want to check with your insurance company to ensure you find a doctor who accepts your plan. Once that’s done, you can look over reviews and determine what the doctors’ physician grades are. There are a number of organizations whose purpose is to rate the quality of physicians. One of the most popular is the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The group gathers data about the quality of care doctors provide to their patients and uses that information to grade the physician.
Contact Shrager & Sachs
Even if your doctor has never been sued, there’s still the possibility they could make a mistake. In the event you’re injured and you believe physician or hospital negligence is to blame, it’s important to understand your legal rights and options.
If you’re in or around Philadelphia, a med mal lawyer from Shrager & Sachs, LLC can evaluate your situation and help you determine if there are grounds for a claim. If you choose to proceed, your attorney will walk you through the medical malpractice claims process and work to ensure you receive the compensation you need to get your life back in order.
Taking legal action against a doctor or hospital can be complicated, which is why it’s best to learn about your options as soon as possible after you’ve been injured. To schedule a consultation, contact our law firm today.
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