When filing a personal injury claim medical records play an especially important role. This article will discuss releasing medical records in a personal injury case.
Releasing Medical Records Privacy Laws
While consent is necessary, it is possible to receive medical records by way of a subpoena. It must be noted that every state has a specific standard set out for acquiring medical records for legal purposes. When a subpoena is needed to request medical records, it is important to be aware of the state laws. In addition, it is important to know Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 requirements. In the state of Florida both HIPAA Privacy Rule and state law provide for the right to access medical records. However, where is two laws conflict each other, the most protective rule or law takes precedence of the situation.
There are a number of advantages linked to having all medical records relating to a personal injury case. Some of these are:
- The records allow both sides to examine the physical injuries and the possibility of a specific case
- They provide details of the nature and extent of the injuries of the person making the claim
- It provides assistance in calculating damages sustained by the injured person
- The medical records allow medical experts or professionals to analyze them and determine what caused the injuries. Or in medical malpractice cases they determine if the doctors exercised reasonable care.
In instances where the injured person has preexisting injuries, medical records help the defendant understand these preexisting injuries.
For example, if the injured person suffered an injury during a car accident. The defendant may think that the person aggravated a previous injury suffered from a workplace accident some months earlier. The release of medical records may be denied on the basis of privacy. The defendant can draft a subpoena for the medical records from the claimant’s health care provider. While there is a protection by privacy laws, the claimant waived these by pursuing a lawsuit.
For legal advice contact the Vinson Law Office for a free first consultation today.