If you have been diagnosed with a serious illness in Pennsylvania, you may have been referred to a surgeon or specialist. While you may have built up trust with your general practitioner or even your dentist over several years, this specialist may be new to you. If invasive surgery is on the list of treatment options, you may be concerned about whether or not he has a good reputation.

Note, however, that a medical malpractice claim against a doctor is not always true, intentional or due to willful negligence. Even when doctors settle, they may do so to avoid a messy court battle or to preserve their reputation. Forbes estimates that 75% of doctors in low-risk fields and 99% of doctors in high-risk fields have dealt with a malpractice claim at some point in their careers.

Because of this, checking for malpractice claims is not the best way to judge a doctor’s work ethic or skill. Still, it may not hurt to know. The first place to look is the state medical boards. Here you will find information ranging from doctors that are licensed to practice in the state to those who may have had their medical licensed suspended or even revoked. The State Department of Health Services may be able to provide additional information about the hospital you may be staying at, including complaints that were filed against it.

Court records are another good source of medical malpractice lawsuits. Sometimes you may access these for free, but other times you may have to pay. Contact the county in which the doctor currently works and has worked before to see if there are any judgments against them. Finally, you can always check the internet for information, as high-profile cases may make the news.

If you do find out that your doctor has been sued, check to see if there is a pattern. A pattern of being sued, especially for the same recurring problem is a bad sign. However, you may also want to check if that pattern may be normal for their field. Once you have covered all the bases, either proceed with the recommended doctor or begin your search anew.

This article shares information from Forbes on how to find out if a doctor has been sued. It should not be used as legal or medical advice.