Obtaining Medical Records After a Biloxi, MS Accident
There are a number of reasons you may want to access your medical records, but these documents are absolutely essential in a personal injury case. Your medical records itemize emergency treatment, ongoing care, medications, surgeries – literally every diagnosis and procedure recorded during an encounter with a healthcare provider. Under the Mississippi Rules of Evidence, the information is core proof of your claim for damages due to your injuries; plus, the details can also establish lack of any pre-existing condition that may reduce your amount of compensation. Obtaining your medical records is among the first steps your personal injury attorney will take after a Biloxi, MS accident, and you do have a role in the process.
Standing to Request Medical Records
The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provides that patients are entitled to a copy of their medical records from any professional that treated them. Therefore:
- You may obtain your own documentation;
- If you’ve designated an agent or representative, such as your personal injury attorney, that person can access your medical records; and,
- A parent or legal guardian of a minor may obtain the child’s medical records, as can the guardian of a disabled adult.
Types of Records You May Access
HIPAA requires healthcare providers to give copies of all medical records to a person who has standing to make the request. In addition, you may also review the original documents, but you will likely not be allowed to remove them from the practitioner’s office. All records of treatment by medical professionals are subject to HIPAA rules, including care from:
- Emergency medical technicians;
- Emergency room staff;
- Specialists, chiropractors, and therapists;
- Psychologists and psychiatrists; and,
- Any other healthcare provider.
There are limited exceptions that allow a medical professional to deny the request for records. Still, the provider must deliver an official letter of denial. In many cases, you may appeal the denial.
Timing on Obtaining Medical Records
Under HIPAA, medical providers must deliver copies of your medical records within 30 days of the request or provide the reasons if there is any delay. Timing is critical for gaining access to copies of your medical records, because your attorney needs them to prepare strategy for your case. These documents are useful as support during negotiations with insurance companies and are necessary for a potential lawsuit.
Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Clients in the Biloxi and Gulfport, MS Area
Your medical records are just one component of the proof you’ll need to successfully prove your claim to compensation after you suffer injuries in an accident. A Biloxi personal injury attorney will also work with investigators, medical experts, financial professionals, accident reconstruction specialists, and many other sources in preparing for negotiations with an insurance company or for your court trial. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy Guice has decades of experience consulting with various experts and gathering the evidence you need to win your case. For more information on obtaining medical records or other important evidence, please contact our Biloxi office today with questions or to schedule an initial consultation.