Medical health records are an account of a person’s past documents regarding medical treatments, diagnoses, surgeries, and other information. These are usually kept by the person’s health care institution, such as a hospital. Medical records can be quite exhaustive and can sometimes contain very private information about a person.
Various laws such as the HIPAA guarantee privacy rights with regards to medical health records. In general, medical health records can’t be accessed with a person’s permission, and without notifying them. Medical health records are often consulted for various applications, such as insurance applications or immigration requests.
Can Medical Health Records be Accessed in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Of particular concern is the use of medical health records in a personal injury lawsuit. Generally speaking, communications between a doctor and patient are confidential if they are being made in connection with a lawsuit. While a medical health record will be made, such information is considered “privileged” or confidential. Accessing medical records for a personal injury claim is subject to various legal procedure rules.
For instance, suppose that a person’s neck was injured in a car accident, and they consulted a doctor for the purpose of estimating damage costs in a lawsuit. Since the information is to be used in a lawsuit, the other driver can’t have access to those consultation records. However, in some instances, such information may be required to be released upon order of a judge.
What if I am Involved in a Dispute Over Medical Health Records?
The unauthorized release of a patient’s medical health records is prohibited by law. Such information is sometimes sought for the purposes of marketing and advertising (for instance, if a pharmaceutical company wishes to know which types of medicines are popular). Or, an insurance company may seek to learn similar information. Such organizations can only access information in a way that is legal and in accordance with procedural rules.
Failure to abide by the legal requirements for accessing medical records can result in a health record privacy dispute. Here, the plaintiff may be awarded damages for any losses or injuries resulting from the illegal accessing of their medical health records.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Medical Health Records?
Medical health records can be a valuable tool in many different circumstances. However, they need to be accessed and handled with great care in order to prevent misuse. You may wish to hire a qualified personal injury lawyer in your area if you need any legal assistance at all regarding medical health records. Your attorney can advise you of your legal rights with regards to your record, and can help determine if any violations have occurred. Also, your lawyer can represent you if you need to file a lawsuit.