Naturally, if you seek medical care in the state of Indiana, making sure you have a top quality doctor is one of your prime concerns. But while researching the background of your physician, you find out your doctor has been sued in the past. Knowing this, you probably fear that your doctor is careless or untrustworthy. Before you decide to drop your doctor, consider some important factors that might help you determine whether you can trust your physician.
Forbes explains that there are multiple reasons why a doctor may be sued, and not all of them actually have to do with the medical practice of the doctor. Some physicians are sued because of errors committed with the administration of their office, like a failure to renew their license at the scheduled time. Some doctors may have been sued for financial reasons, such as defaulting on a loan.
Additionally, consider that a person may file a suit against another individual for just about any reason. The fact that a doctor may have a few lawsuits on the record does not tell you the whole story. Check to see if the suit was dismissed by a court or if the plaintiff had withdrawn the suit. The American Medical Association (AMA) even discovered in a 2010 study that about 65 percent of medical suits are dismissed or dropped.
However, warning bells should sound if your doctor has been sued and the suits were settled or resulted in sizable payouts to the plaintiff. You could also have a problem if your doctor was sued repeatedly in the past few years. If a pattern of litigation and settlements emerges, it might indicate poor practice on behalf of your doctor. If you want to learn more about these past lawsuits, you could check for details in documents such as court records, or through online research.
Ultimately, you are in command of your health treatment and should feel free to research your doctor to see if you are comfortable allowing that doctor to treat you. Because patient-doctor relationships vary widely, bear in mind that this article is not giving you any legal advice. It is only written to provide information to Indiana residents on doctor errors and malpractice issues.