Keep All Medical Records When Involved In An Accident
Have you been in an accident or injured by medical malpractice? If so, you will need to file a legal claim after the fact. In order to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident or malpractice– and not a previous medical condition – you will need medical records stating your injuries.
In order to file a personal injury lawsuit, your medical records will be key to proving you even have a case. If the third party can dispute your injuries, your case will be lost before it ever gets started. The medical records may even have to be used to show you need a specialist or a new doctor to help prove your injuries.
How to Obtain Your Medical Records and Your Rights
If you file a medical malpractice claim or personal injury claim, you must have your medical records available for the case. The federal Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) give any patient the right to get their records from their medical provider.
Who Is Allowed To Receive Your Medical Records?
According to HIPAA, you may request your own medical records.
If you had someone else designated as a representative, they may also obtain the records. You may request someone else’s medical records if they give you permission, in writing, to act as their representative in accessing records. In the situation of elderly parents that designate you as their representative, medical providers must provide you with the medical records if you make a request to obtain them.
You may be appointed as the legal guardian of another adult and that will also give you the legal right to get that person’s medical records.
Parents and legal guardians can obtain their children’s medical records unless the child has consented to medical care and parental consent is not required under state law. If the child’s medical care is at the direction of a court, or parent agrees that the minor and the medical provider have a confidential relationship, then it would not be allowed.
Records of Deceased Persons
The personal representative of an estate — either designated by a will or appointed by a court to settle a deceased person’s affairs will get access to the deceased’s medical records. If you are related to a deceased person and certain information in that person’s medical file relates to your own health, HIPAA lets you access that information.
What Records Are You Allowed To Receive?
HIPAA gives patients the right to copies of all of their personal medical records. Patients also have the right to their own original medical records. Usually, if a provider denies your request, they must provide you with a denial letter. There may be certain reasons that you may be allowed to appeal the denial.
HIPAA does allow health care providers to withhold certain types of medical records, including:
- Psychotherapy notes
- Information being gathered in compliance of a lawsuit
- Medical information the provider believes could endanger your life or the safety of another person.
How Long Does It Take To Get Requested Medical Records?
HIPAA requires medical providers to provide copies of medical records within 30 days of your request. The medical provider must give you a reason for the delay if it will take more than 30 days. In California, providers must allow patients to see their records within five days of the request and must provide copies of those records within fifteen days.
Once you have your medical records, you will be ready to visit a personal injury attorney.
Contact The Horwitz Law Group today for Chicago personal injury legal representation.
To arrange a free consultation about your case, please contact The Horwitz Law Group by e-mail or call 312-641-9200.