If you’re wondering if your doctor (or a potential one) might have been part of a lawsuit, here are some interesting stats:
So, there’s a chance. But this doesn’t mean that they did anything wrong or are incompetent. Sometimes, patients file suits out of anger, and these accusations need to be handled.
But there are instances where doctors exhibit patterns of bad behavior, and you deserve to know before you schedule an appointment. So, the state of Alabama has resources in place to give you some clarity.
While the state does allow you to see if a doctor has been sued in the past, it doesn’t tell you if a doctor is currently under investigation. It also doesn’t say if they are currently practicing under restrictions as part of the Alabama Physician Health Program, which provides early detection and treatment of doctors who have problems with substance abuse, psychiatric disorders, and inappropriate behavior.
Still, it is best to know as much as possible when choosing a medical provider.
Every state makes medical board records public. The Alabama Board of Medical Examiners & Medical Licensure Commission’s website has a search function that is easy to use:
Federal courts keep records on the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website. It’s also easy to use, but you’ll need to pay to get access:
Sometimes a simple Google search will help fill any information gaps. Search the doctor’s name with keywords like “malpractice” or “patient complaint” and see if anything comes up.
You can also check sex offender registry sites to see if your doctor’s name appears.
A random lawsuit doesn’t mean your doctor is bad at what they do. Sometimes people are just unhappy and feel that the doctors could have done better. And sometimes, your doctor might make a mistake and suffer legal consequences.
But that’s not the same as a pattern of bad behavior. If you see enough instances that show concerning practices, it might be time to find a new doctor.
Don’t settle for a doctor who doesn’t treat the job with the respect it deserves. The dedicated Alabama medical malpractice attorneys at Belt, Bruner & Barnett P.C., can help you find the right doctor or file a suit against one that has wronged you.