When you file a personal injury claim for yourself or on behalf of someone else, one of the first things to understand is that the medical records (and your medical history) are going to be a main focus, since you’re essentially asking for compensation for injuries (“damages”) from the at-fault person or business.
Any hospital or health care facility where the injured sought medical treatment will have records of the care provided and the cost of that care. Your personal injury attorney will help guide you through this process as well.
The federal Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) gives patients the right to obtain a copy of their medical records from any medical provider, with a few exceptions. According to HIPAA, you may request:
HIPAA states that medical providers must give copies of your records within 30 days of your notice. If 30 days is not enough time, they must provide you with a legitimate reason for the extension.
If part of your medical record seems to be missing from the copies you have been provided, you may only need to respond with a written inquiry requesting the remainder of the information. However, some hospitals and medical providers have been found to withhold important records relating to medical malpractice lawsuits. In such a case, it is best to contact a personal injury lawyer.
If you have questions about obtaining medical records for yourself or a loved one, or believe you have a personal injury case, contact our experienced team of attorneys today. You can reach Melissa Scartelli at 570-346-2600.
Rachel D. Olszewski, an attorney at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., is a dedicated advocate for clients who have suffered unjust harm. Following the legacy of her esteemed family members, Rachel specializes in personal injury, medical malpractice, and criminal defense. She is actively involved in professional associations and serves on the board of the Luzerne County Bar Association Charitable Foundation. Rachel is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania state courts and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
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