Doctors and nurses analyzing paperwork

Is It Possible to Check My Doctor’s History With Malpractice?

By Greg Kohn

Choosing a new doctor can be a daunting task, especially when you have to wonder if the doctor has ever been sued for malpractice. The thought of being harmed by a doctor is scary. Many doctors get sued for malpractice but guilty verdicts are the ones to worry about. Fortunately, New Jersey has many resources for investigating your doctor’s malpractice history. 

One day, you may need to call a New Jersey personal injury attorney about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit for you, but here are some ways to prevent that.

Medical Malpractice Inquiries

When you are trying to find a new doctor, you want to understand a doctor’s history regarding malpractice. Has he or she been sued before? Were they found guilty, or did they pay out a big settlement? 

You probably want to know: Is it possible to check a doctor’s history of malpractice? Yes. Absolutely. As a patient, you are entitled to see that history.

Understanding Medical Malpractice Issues

Medical malpractice is defined as when a physician acts in a negligent manner while rendering care, and that negligence causes harm to the patient. It includes mistakes such as:

  • Failure to diagnose a medical issue that results in more suffering
  • Prescribing the wrong medication, and the patient suffering side effects
  • A mistake made regarding a patient in childbirth, resulting in harm to the baby
  • An anesthesia miscalculation, leaving the patient conscious during surgery
  • Leaving a sponge or other clamp or other surgical instrument inside a patient during surgery

These are only a few of the many errors possible. If a doctor has previously been accused of any kind of malpractice, you as a patient have a right to know.

Available Resources for Checking a Doctor’s Malpractice History

There are many reasons to check a doctor’s malpractice history, including ensuring the quality of care and fostering trust in the patient-doctor relationship. New Jersey has excellent online resources that allow you to check your potential physician’s qualifications and malpractice history. 

The New Jersey Healthcare Profile page allows you to access many different kinds of factual information about any kind of physician including podiatrists and optometrists. Orthodontists, dentists, and chiropractors aren’t included. The information available includes:

  • A profile of the physician
  • Licensure information
  • Board certification status  
  • Malpractice payments made during the last five years

Another resource for obtaining information about a doctor’s malpractice history is to search New Jersey court records. Go to the search page and click on Search Civil and Foreclosure Cases. Make sure you know the correct spelling of the doctor’s last name. You can also call the court for the county where the doctor’s office is located and ask the clerk to do a name search or help you start an online search. Perhaps you have suffered ill treatment at the hands of a physician or other healthcare provider and are unsure what to do next. You can always contact our firm to assess your situation. We will always be sensitive to your privacy and will give you an honest opinion of whether or not you may be able to sue for malpractice. Contact us today for a consult.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.