No one wants to be in the position of having to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. While the damages in these cases can be substantial, no court purports that financial remunerations can possibly compensate victims of many of these cases adequately. In fact, no finite amount of money can sufficiently redress medical suffering, disability, mental and emotional suffering one experience in the aftermath of medical negligence or mishap.
It's always better to avoid medical complications due to negligence or error and one strategy for doing so is doing your homework in advance.
Selecting a doctor or hospital puts the power squarely in your hands to make a wise decision when seeking medical care and avoid practitioners with a history of the kinds of mistakes or neglect that often lead to medical negligence. And today, there are more resources than ever to help you find the professional track record of any doctor or the legal history of a hospital or medical facility.
One of the first stops on your hunt should be the Medical Disciplinary Board of the State of Illinois. Like all other states in the union, the State of Illinois licenses its physicians, and as such regulates their practice. Any actions taken against a physician's license will be recorded at the Medical Disciplinary Board.
Another resource you may source is the Federation of State Bedical Boards (FSMB). As many doctors may have practiced in other states, the FSMB is a great resource for finding actions taken against your doctor in another state. It has a concise database called, “DocInfo.” It lists information on any disciplinary action taken against doctors in the United States.
The Illinois Department of Health and Human Services is a good place to start to search for information on hospitals and medical facilities in the state and determine whether a complaint has ever been lodged against them.
Of course, if a doctor has been used in the State of Illinois, there will be a public record of that suit and you can typically source those records online at Illinois.gov. But we advise caution when evaluating a doctor that has been sued for medical malpractice. Many such cases have, in fact, been found to be frivolous and thrown out as patients have been known to sue doctors for things like poor bedside manner. Though the case is thrown out, the lawsuit still lives on the physician's record.
Probably the easiest source of information on your physician or medical facility is your medical insurer. Many insurers provide background detail on physicians in their network, including education, history of complaints and Board sanctions.
Clearly, evaluating a physician's track record is not going to guarantee that you won't experience medical negligence or malpractice with a physician who's record is pristine. But if you're thorough in your screening, you can eliminate the physician and hospitals that have a history of problems and eliminate that threat at the very least. It increases the odds that you will have a good experience when you seek care.
Of course, if you have questions about medical malpractice or wish to file a personal injury case as a result of suspected medical negligence call the attorneys at Panio Law Offices. We have a wealth of experience in personal injury cases and a proven track record for winning the largest awards to which our clients are entitled. Call (708) 928-8680 if you have any questions. We can help.