Organizations and bodies such as state medical boards, health services departments and courts keep records of lawsuits filed against hospitals and medical practitioners in different states. At the national level, the Federation of State Medical Boards can also prove helpful when searching for medical lawsuits, according to Nolo.
To help during the search, complaints and lawsuits against medical institutions can be classified into various groups. These groupings include drug error, misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis, unnecessary or inappropriate surgery, premature discharge, unnecessary or inappropriate treatment procedure, and incomplete instructions during discharge, according to NOLO.
The courts are among the most reliable sources of lawsuits filed against medical institutions and personnel. Some courts have also embraced technology by putting their records online. However, a preliminary research is required to determine what kind of information is available online in a given state, as explained by NOLO. If the documents are not available online, go to the courthouse to access the records in person. However, some courts charge a fee for certain records, and another potential limitation is the level of confidentiality given to the desired records.
Those searching court records need to handle them with caution, because while some lawsuits are considered petty and thrown out, the records still exist. They should not make the assumption that since the hospital or doctor was sued that an act of malpractice actually took place, as NOLO explains.