It is perfectly normal and appropriate to wonder if the physician or health care provider treating you or a loved one has been sued for medical negligence in the past, either out of general curiosity or a specific concern about his or her course of treatment.
Remember that while it is natural and appropriate to wonder whether your doctor has been sued, it should have little bearing on whether to doubt that said doctor is administering proper care. A doctor can go his whole career without getting sued and be capable of gross negligence, and many skilled doctors have been sued many times. Your judgment about the propriety of the care a doctor is providing to your or a loved one should be based on your own observations and, if need be, the determination of experienced lawyers and medical experts who have scrutinized the medical records.
Additionally, even if your doctor has been sued before, it would have little impact on the viability of a medical malpractice case against him for the treatment he provided to you or a loved one. In Maryland, as in many states, evidence of a prior lawsuit against a doctor is only admissible in very limited circumstances.
There are a variety of ways of determining whether your doctor has been sued before and whether his or her case resulted in a judgment or settlement.
- Google search of physician’s name. Sometimes one can get lucky with a simple google search of a physician by name, which can lead to publicly available court dockets, news articles, or published verdicts.
However, make sure in your searches that you have the physician’s correct name or, if he has a common name, you have narrowed your search results with other identifying information.
- Researching your state’s medical board. The medical boards for most states have a website where you can research every licensed physician by name and determine whether there has been a settlement or judgment against him. Simply entering the name of the state and the word “medical board” into your search bar should lead you to the appropriate website.
However, most medical boards will only identify judgments or settlement against the physician by name. If there was a judgment or settlement against the physician’s employing hospital or medical practice because of his negligence, with the doctor’s name left out, it would not appear in publicly available state medical board records. Oftentimes a condition of a case settling is that the settlement will not go on the physician’s permanent record – meaning that it would not appear o his state medical board profile.
- Court Records. Most states and counties allow you to search the dockets of prior and ongoing cases by party name. However, the doctor’s name would not appear if only his employer hospital or medical malpractice were named as a Defendant. Also, like with records from state medical boards, the details of confidential settlements would not appear.
Contact The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, LLC Today
Do you believe that you or your loved one has suffered as a result of medical malpractice or medical neglect? You need to talk to an experienced team of local lawyers today.
The lawyers at Cardaro & Peek, LLC have the experience and resources necessary to investigate and litigate all types of medical claims throughout Maryland and Washington D.C. Cardaro & Peek, LLC has medical personnel on staff and has access to nationally recognized, board-certified physicians and other experts, to assist in the investigation, analysis, and prosecution of all types of medical malpractice claims. If you or a loved one have experienced malpractice, give us a call at 410-752-6166. Please visit our website www.cardarolaw.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more information.