Medical malpractice lawsuits are surprisingly common. Americans file almost 20,000 lawsuits every year. That’s why most doctors carry medical malpractice insurance in case an accident does happen. But what if your doctor has had multiple claims and clearly shows a lot of negligence towards patients. It’s hard to find out whether a doctor made an honest mistake or is truly negligent.
Also Read: The Myth Of Frivolous Lawsuits
Finding Out If Your Doctor Has A Medical Malpractice Or Wrongful Death Lawsuit
There are several different ways to find out if your doctor has had a medical malpractice charge or lawsuit. There’s no reason to panic if you do find out they have a medical malpractice lawsuit. You should, however, do more research if you find more than one lawsuit or charge.
If you do find that your doctor has been sued, don’t panic. Look for more details on the case. Once you’ve found more information, see if you can also find a pattern or a major red flag. This tells you whether or not your doctor is the best for your needs.
Step One: Check your state medical board or state department of healthcare
The easiest way to find information on any doctor is on your state’s medical board or health department’s website. Here, you’ll find information on where your doctor went to school, what they specialize in, and any medical malpractice lawsuits. You can find a link to any state’s health department right here.
Step Two: Check local court records
If you do find out that your doctor has one or two medical malpractice lawsuits, check your local court records. You can find all public records with your clerk county. You can find more details on the malpractice lawsuit here. There are some court records that may be private or sealed. The court likely ordered the records to be sealed because the case is still open, or involves a minor.
Step Three: Look up your doctor online
Another option is to search your doctor’s name with the keywords “medical malpractice” or “patient complaints.” This can give you more information about your doctor outside of the legal realm. Despite many people having issues with their doctors, rarely do patients report their injuries. You may also find some complaints about your doctor that have more to do with patient satisfaction and overall experience.
What Is Considered Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is when a doctor, nurse, or healthcare facility disregards their duty of care or goes against the accepted practice. In the case of a doctor, they would need to willingly neglect their duty of care to a patient. This may include:
- Ignoring the concerns of a patient.
- Performing outdated, unethical, or unnecessary procedures.
- Over or under prescribing medications.
- Violating standard care.
- Causing injury or significant damage from care or negligence.
It can be difficult to prove a doctor is either truly negligent and has directly caused injury to their patients. Doctors cannot be held liable if they prove that they acted “in good faith” and had proper consent from their patients. This is why medical malpractice lawsuits are incredibly difficult to win in many cases.
Some common complaints to look out for include:
- Drug errors
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Unnecessary and inappropriate procedures and treatments
- Premature discharge or incomplete discharge instructions
Also Read: How Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Work
Medical Negligence Vs Malpractice
Medical negligence is an error in judgment. In other words, the doctor made an honest mistake. The mistake may cause harm to a patient, but the act wasn’t intended to.
For example, a doctor prescribes an average pain management medication for their patient. Within hours, the patient begins to have adverse reactions and suffers some complications due to the medication. After a few tests, the doctor discovers the patient is allergic to Codeine. Since neither the doctor nor the patient knew about the allergy beforehand, this would be an act of negligence, as it was an honest mistake.
The biggest difference between medical negligence and malpractice is that medical malpractice is an intentional action. In the earlier example, if the patient’s chart clearly stated they were allergic to Codeine, but the doctor neglected to check the chart or prescribed it anyway, that would be medical malpractice.
It’s much easier to sue a doctor for medical malpractice since their reckless actions directly caused harm to the patient. Just because a patient sustains an injury from a doctor does not mean it counts as either negligence or malpractice.
Suing A Doctor For Medical Malpractice
If you’re thinking of sueing a doctor for medical malpractice, call a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can assess your injuries, and help you decide if taking legal action is the best route for you. Medical malpractice lawsuits are incredibly difficult to win, but there are other courses of action to get you a settlement if you were injured from a doctor’s negligence.
To find out what kind of options you have, call My Case Helper to speak with a personal injury lawyer who handles medical malpractice lawsuits today.
Also Read: 12 Questions To Ask A Personal Injury Lawyer