How to Check a Doctor for Previous Medical Malpractice

A clipboard with a paper that says medical malpractice on a desk with a gavel and a stethoscope.

To check a doctor for prior incidents of malpractice, you need to find the right websites that provide the information you need. Checking for previous incidents of malpractice is a critical part of ensuring that your doctor is qualified to provide treatment.

Finding out if your doctor has a history of malpractice can prevent you from getting bad care and needing to file your own claim. Our Tampa medical malpractice attorneys explain how to check a doctor for prior incidents of malpractice.

How to Check a Doctor for Prior Incidents of Malpractice

To check a doctor for prior incidents of malpractice, go to the state licensing website. The state website is run by the government agency responsible for doctor licensing. The website should have a searchable feature that allows you to enter the doctor’s name and uncover licensing actions. However, to check a doctor for prior incidents of malpractice, you may also need to check local court records for actions against the doctor by name or against their business entity.

How Do I Find out If a Doctor Has Malpractice in Florida?

To find out if a doctor has malpractice in Florida, do the following:

  • Check the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation for actions filed against the doctor’s malpractice insurance.[1]
  • Look up information about the doctor’s education and practice history, as reported by the Florida Department of Health.[2]
  • Verify the doctor’s license with the Florida Board of Medicine.[3]
  • Check local court records for pending actions and any other malpractice cases that may not be included in public repositories.

Florida Doctor Malpractice Search

A Florida doctor malpractice search requires a few different searches:

Florida Office of Insurance Regulation

First, you can search the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation for actions against the doctor’s malpractice insurance. The site allows you to search by name, court case number, date of occurrence, or by other details. You want to search for “MPL claims.” That stands for Medical Professional Liability.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation is the most centralized and complete location to search for details about a doctor’s prior malpractice actions. Florida doctors either have to have professional liability insurance or demonstrate the ability to cover financial claims.[4] Doctors and their insurance providers have to report malpractice claims to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation so that they can be included in the public database.

Florida Department of Health

The Florida Department of Health offers additional help for checking a doctor for prior incidents of malpractice. Their website allows you to search for a specific doctor. There, you can read about their education and professional practice. This is where you can see if there have been disciplinary actions against the doctor. State law requires the State of Florida to compile and publish information about doctors and their practice history.[5] There is optional information that the doctor can publish on the site, including professional memberships and whether they participate in Medicaid programs.

Florida Board of Medicine

The Florida Board of Medicine is another place that you can look to verify a license. You can search by name or professional specialty. The Florida Board of Medicine is the organization that handles complaints against a doctor’s license. However, the Board of Medicine does not issue medical malpractice judgments. Still, the Florida Board of Medicine is a helpful place to search for information about a doctor, including adverse professional licensing actions.

Check Local Court Records

Even though the State of Florida has some of the most comprehensive public records concerning doctors and prior incidents of malpractice, state records may not always be complete. There may be unintentional errors, doctors may not comply with reporting requirements, or a case may not result in a finding of malpractice. That makes it important to check local court records in addition to state-wide records. Searching local court records by the doctor’s name and by the name of their business can provide one more way to find a doctor’s prior incidents of malpractice.

Searching Malpractice History On Computer

Florida Malpractice Searches Include License Sanctions and Malpractice Claims

The State of Florida provides quite detailed information compared to other states when it comes to medical malpractice. Florida is one of only a few states that makes malpractice insurance claims public. Most states allow you to see only actions that have been taken against the doctor’s license.

An action against a doctor’s license is usually related to medical malpractice. However, a record of licensing actions may or may not contain all records of medical malpractice. But the State of Florida makes malpractice insurance claims public and searchable. To that end, consumers can conduct quite a thorough search of a doctor for prior incidents of malpractice.

Are Malpractice Suits Public Record?

Yes, malpractice suits are public record. They are public lawsuits just like any other legal action, so they are public. However, most states don’t compile malpractice suits into one central location for you to search. Instead, you may need to search in each local court for public records of malpractice suits.

Malpractice lawsuits are public record in all states, but most states don’t have a single, comprehensive place for you to search specifically for malpractice records. Actions specifically against a professional license may be publicly available through a state online licensing website.

What Happens If My Doctor Has Prior Incidents of Malpractice?

As a patient, you have the right to choose your doctor. You don’t have to have medical care from a doctor if you have concerns about prior incidents of malpractice. Their professional history is one of the things that you can look into when you’re determining if a doctor is right for you.

If you’re concerned that you may be a victim of medical malpractice yourself, a doctor’s medical malpractice history is relevant to your case. Researching prior incidents can tell you if a doctor has a history of prior unprofessional conduct. Of course, you may certainly be a victim of medical malpractice, even if your doctor has a squeaky clean record on paper up until this point. However, a prior history can provide you valuable information about your doctor and establish a pattern of misbehavior.

How Our Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help

If you have concerns about the medical care that you’ve received, our Tampa medical malpractice attorneys can help you take action. Call Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys today for your free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless you win.


[1] Florida Office of Insurance Regulation MPL Claims Search  (n.d.).

[2] About the Practitioner Profile. (n.d.).

[3] FL DOH MQA Search Portal: Home Page. (n.d.).

[4] FLA. STAT. § 458.320 (2019)

[5] FLA. STAT. § 456.041 (2019)