How to Find Out if Your Doctor Has Been Sued for Medical Malpractice in Alabama | Belt, Bruner & Barnett P.C.

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How to Find Out if Your Doctor Has Been Sued for Medical Malpractice in Alabama

Sep 27, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

If you’re wondering if your doctor (or a potential one) might have been part of a lawsuit, here are some interesting stats:

  • Every year, Americans file around 17,000 medical malpractice suits
  • 75% of doctors in low-risk specialties have faced a malpractice claim
  • 99% of doctors in high-risk specialties have also faced malpractice claims

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.

Has Your Doctor Been Sued? Here’s How to Find Out

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.

Alabama Medical Board Records

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:

  1. Go to the website.
  2. Click the “Searchable Licensee Database” at the top right of the screen.
  3. Enter the doctor’s first and last name.
  4. Select “MD” as the license type unless you’re searching for someone other than a medical doctor.
  5. Click “Search.”
  6. Find your doctor on the list and click on the printer icon in the “Details” section.
  7. Scroll down and look for the “Public File” line.
    • If it says NO, then the board hasn’t publicly disciplined your doctor.
    • If it says YES, click the “Download Document” link to bring up all documents related to any public disciplinary actions the Board and the Medical Licensure Commission have taken against the doctor.

Federal Court Records

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:

  1. Go to the site.
  2. Click “Register for an Account” on the left of the menu bar.
  3. Follow the prompts to create an account.
  4. Begin your search

Your Own Search

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.

What Should You Do if Your Doctor Has Been Sued?

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.

An Alabama Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Answer Your Questions

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.

Contact our office for a no-cost, risk-free consultation today at (205) 933-1500 or through our online form.