Medicine is a risky profession and most doctors are sued at least once sometime during their careers. How can a patient protect themselves? By looking at patterns of problems. It is possible to look up the malpractice case history of doctors.
The Washington State Court of Appeals did uphold a verdict against a midwife, Laura Hamilton, where she was considered not negligent in a birth that caused Erb’s Palsy. But she is also facing two other malpractice suits at the same time. The other suits accuse Hamilton of a baby’s death through negligence and another brachial plexus injury case that caused permanent nerve damage and paralysis in an arm.
Furthermore, in an investigation done by another paper, The Daily News of Longview, the midwife has “racked up dozens of complaints, several professional disciplinary orders and had been subject to multiple state Health Department investigations over the course of her career, including a 1994 case in which an administrative health law judge determined Hamilton’s negligence was a factor in the death of a 21-year-old mother.”
A pattern like this shows that working with this medical professional would be a high risk. Sadly, patients may not have the chance to investigate malpractice claims against doctors before they are treated, especially in a hospital setting. Also, any doctor can make a mistake serious enough that you could have a malpractice case even if they have a perfect record. This is why you should consult with a lawyer if you have suspicions.