If you’ve been injured and wanting to file a personal injury lawsuit, your medical records are usually necessary. Whether it’s a medical malpractice suit or car accident claim, medical records are typically needed to prove fault, to show the extent of physical damages that you incurred, and to prove if preexisting conditions were aggravated a result of the injury. The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), however, has certain laws in place when it comes to accessing medical records:
- You are always allowed to request your own medical records at anytime
- If you are acting on behalf of a disabled and/or elderly family member, you can request their medical records as long as you are acting as their dedicated representative. Certain forms typically need to be filled out and approved beforehand.
- If you are acting on behalf of your own children, you are always allowed to request medical records unless parental consent is not required by state law for the child to get medical care, or if the child received medical care under appointment by the court.
- If you need access to a deceased person’s medical records, you must be the personal representative of that person’s estate. This typically happens if a loved one was fatally injured in an accident and you are filing a lawsuit for damages on their behalf.
Under HIPAA law, you have to right to have access to all of your medical records. However, certain records can remain private at the discretion of your physician or health care provider, including any documents your provider is retaining for a lawsuit, any information that’s consider a danger to you or others, and any psychotherapy records.
HIPAA also requires that your medical be sent to you within 30 days, and if not, your provider must provide a legitimate reason as the why the records have not been sent.
Once you have your medical records, be certain to share them with your personal injury attorney. Your medical information is crucial to your case. If you need assistance in locating an experienced personal injury attorney, give us a call. The top personal injury lawyers at Ledger & Associates have helped countless clients go on to win the damages that they deserve.