How to Obtain Your Medical Records for Your Personal Injury Claim
February 15, 2021
If you or someone you care about has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another party, then you may be entitled to compensation. However, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the alleged negligent party in order to recover the funds that you need to pay for your expenses. In order to proceed with a personal injury claim, you will need to obtain copies of your medical records at some point. Medical records are going to be the main focus because you are essentially asking for compensation for the injuries and subsequent expenses they caused. Here, we want to discuss the process of obtaining medical records for a personal injury claim.
Authorizing the Release of Your Medical Records
If you have decided to move forward with a personal injury claim against another individual, you need to work with a skilled attorney who has extensive experience handling these cases. An attorney will understand the entire process of getting your medical records released, and this can be a complicated process. There can be roadblocks when it comes to securing these records, including making you pay a fee or go through third-party systems to obtain the correct records.
When you have decided to move forward with your claim, your attorney will ask you to authorize the release of your medical records to them. When your attorney asks providers for medical records, the request will typically include the injury victim’s name, Social Security number, date of birth, patient account number, patient’s address, and a general date of the treatment rendered.
When a medical release authorization is sent to a provider, they may ask for records from a specific incident, for a certain date range, or even all of the records that the care provider has in their possession for the injury victim.
Your attorney can usually request records on your behalf if you give them written permission to do so. These requests will be sent either through regular mail or digitally. However, larger health care providers throughout California may have their own online portals that they require patients to go through to receive their records.
What if the Other Party Asks for More Records?
It is almost inevitable that the defendant in a personal injury claim will ask to see your medical records (at least, their attorney will make such a request). It is ultimately up to you and your attorney to determine which medical records are relevant to the case and should be released. In these situations, the other side will most certainly be looking for anything in the records that helps their case. This could include the existence of previous injuries that could explain the current pain and suffering, proof that the current injury is not as severe as claimed, and more.
However, the other side will ultimately need to see some type of medical record in order to justify the compensation you are asking for. By releasing medical records related to the injury case to all parties:
- This allows both sides to assess the injuries
- This provides details on the extent and nature of the injury victim’s claims
- This helps calculate the damages sustained by the injury victim
- This allows a medical professional to properly analyze the records and determine the cause of the injuries
Let an Attorney Help You Through This
If you have been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of somebody else, please seek assistance from a skilled California personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to analyze every aspect of your case, obtain the medical records necessary to prove what happened, and help ensure that the correct medical records get to the parties involved.