Are Medical Malpractice Records Public Knowledge?

A gavel and a stethoscope with the words, are medical malpractice records public knowledge?

When you are looking for a new doctor, it can be difficult to choose the best medical professional for your needs. It is important to find a doctor who is well qualified, has years of experience, and has a good standing with the medical board and his or her clients.

A doctor’s or hospital’s reputation is key; it would be extremely disappointing to find out that your trusted healthcare professional was involved in medical malpractice suits. If you had known about the lawsuits earlier, you might have chosen someone else. How were you supposed to know? Are medical malpractice records public?

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is defined as an injury to a patient caused by a negligent act or omission of action by a medical professional, such as a doctor. Medical malpractice includes errors in diagnosis or treatment or poor aftercare.

Are Medical Malpractice Cases Public Knowledge?

In the United States, there are, on average, 17,000 medical malpractice lawsuits a year. These lawsuits can be for serious mistakes such as a piece of equipment left in a person’s body after surgery to more minor cases, such as bedside manner. Medical malpractice cases are made public knowledge when the healthcare professional has been convicted of their actions.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Breakdowns

When it comes to medical lawsuits, most of them are in high-risk fields, such as neurosurgery, due to the heightened amount of care a doctor must take when dealing with injuries and illnesses. However, sometimes individuals do not agree with the care or treatment they received. Thus, even a fantastic doctor will most likely have at least one lawsuit or complaint made against them in his or her medical career. Here is the break down:

  • 75% of doctors in low-risks fields, such as a pediatrician, will be involved in a medical malpractice lawsuit in his or her lifetime.
  • 99% of doctors in high-risk fields, such as a neurosurgeon, will be involved in a medical malpractice lawsuit in his or her lifetime.

How Will I Know Whether a Doctor Has Been Convicted of a Lawsuit?

Thankfully, there are resources an individual can use to ensure that their doctor looks out for the best interests of their patients.

Federation of State Medical Boards

Wooden Gavel And Stethoscope an American Flag

This federal organization compiles licensing information from each state’s medical board. Any doctor can be found in the DocFinder physician directory, which has a breakdown of their licenses, where they have practices, and if any open or closed suits are against them.

State Department of Health Services

Your state’s department of health services website will provide information on court records involving your doctor or hospital. However, some open cases may not be readily available to the public and require permission to view. If this is the case, odds are it is still under investigation.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Attorney

If you or a loved one has been involved in a case of negligence or failure to act from your doctor or other healthcare professionals which resulted in injury, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated team at Branch & Dhillon, P.C. can help! Our knowledgeable staff can gather the necessary evidence to show that your injury would not have occurred if they had been acting competently. Contact our team today for more information and to schedule a free no-obligation consultation.

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