Whether you are choosing a new doctor, or you believe your current physician made a mistake, you may want to learn more about your doctor’s history. Have they ever been sued for medical malpractice, sanctioned, or had their license suspended? All of this can be insightful and help you decide what to do next.
Search the Internet for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
This may seem overly simple, but a search of your doctor’s name followed by the terms “medical negligence,” “medical malpractice,” “patient injury,” “problem,” “malpractice lawsuit,” or “scam” can reveal a great deal of information.
If your physician has been involved in any legal action or regulatory investigations, you may find the information on Google. Your search may turn up nothing, which can be a good sign.
Utilize Hawaii’s Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs (DCCA)
State medical boards are always a good place to start. The Hawaii Medical Board licenses emergency medical technicians, physicians, physician assistants, podiatrists, and osteopathic physicians. It is part of the Professional and Vocational Licensing Division of the DCCA.
To check for complaints on a doctor’s license, the DCCA website links you to the Regulated Industries Complaints Office (RICO) where you can run a Complaint History Search.
When you search for a doctor’s name, there may be no results because there are no previous complaints. If there is a result, you can open it to see the details. There will be a complaint number, a brief explanation of the allegations, the resolution of the complaint, and any applicable dates.
You may see that there was a lawsuit and judgment or that a settlement went into effect. There may be a note regarding an injunction, monetary sanctions, fines, or restitution. If the allegations had any effect on the doctor’s license, that information will be there too. It may state a license was revoked for a certain number of days effective on a certain date or permanently.
The information also may state that there is a pending complaint, in which case, no other information will be immediately available.
If you are not sure whether someone is a licensed medical professional in Hawaii, you can use the Professional and Vocational Licensing Search. This will tell you if someone is licensed and if that license has been terminated.
The DCCA also enables you to check on a business’s history, if you are worried about a specific medical practice. Use the OCP Complaint History Search to look up complaints against a business.
Additionally, you can call the Consumer Resource Center on Maui at 808-984-2400 followed by 74272#.
You also can use the Federation of State Medical Board’s Physician Data Center’s website Docinfo. This quick and easy website will tell you a healthcare provider’s education, year of graduation, where they have active licenses, and if any disciplinary information was found.
Currently, Hawaii does not participate with the Administrators in Medicine’s DocFinder website.
Search Hawaiian Court Records
If you want to know if any medical malpractice suits were filed, you can go straight to the source. The courts.
The Hawaii State Judiciary enables consumers to look up public court records through eCourt Kokua. This system has public information for traffic court cases, district court and circuit court criminal cases, district and circuit court civil cases, land court cases, tax appeal cases, and appellate cases.
You also can search public records for civil cases filed in the Family Courts through Hoohiki.
You can search with the physician’s name, their practice name, or the medical facility they are affiliated with and see if anything turns up.
If your doctor was involved in a case and you want to read the documents, you will have to make a request and obtain the documents in person at the appropriate building. Maui County records can be found at Hoapili Hale.
Did You Find a Medical Malpractice Complaint?
If you found evidence of a patient complaint, disciplinary action or a civil lawsuit, do not panic.
Look into the incident as much as you can to determine if the matter truly indicates a problem with the physician. If you are uncomfortable going to the physician again, you now have the tools to search for new physicians with clean records.
If you believe you have been a victim of medical negligence by a doctor, talk with our law firm right away. Our experienced medical malpractice lawyers will listen to your story. We offer free initial consultations so we can learn what is going on and advise you of the best next steps.
Not all medical errors or complications result in a medical tort under Hawaii law. The medical provider had to violate the standard of care. Our medical malpractice attorneys will retain an expert to review your medical records and determine whether you have a valid case.
If you appear to have a valid claim for medical malpractice, we will file a complaint with the
Medical Inquiry and Conciliation Panel on your behalf. The law requires we take this step before we can file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
You can reach Menzer Law Firm through our online form or call 808-400-3726 to schedule your free evaluation. We accept medical malpractice cases throughout Hawaii on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront or hourly fees and we only get paid if we are successful in obtaining compensation for you.