As personal injury lawyers, Thompson Law receives a lot of questions related to the process that takes place in personal injury cases. Whether you have a personal injury claim or not, you may want to get a copy of your medical records. For plaintiffs of personal injury lawsuits, it can be extremely important to get a copy of those records because they can prove to the judge or the jury exactly how serious your injuries from the accident were.
Yes, You Are Entitled to Request a Copy of Your Own Medical Records
Under the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), you have the legal right to request a copy of your own records. You can also give permission to your lawyer to get a copy of your medical records on your behalf. If your children were hurt in an accident, you have the right to request a copy of their medical records provided that you are their legal guardian. For instance, you would be entitled to a copy of the medical records for your minor child, but you may not be entitled to a copy of the medical records for your child who is over 18 unless you are still listed as their legal guardian because of a disability. Under Texas law, you’re entitled to a copy of your medical records from any doctor, hospital, pharmacy, or nursing home that treated you. You are also entitled to a copy of your medical record from your health insurance provider.
Can a Healthcare Provider or Facility Withhold Certain Medical Records?
There are different types of documents that make up your medical record. A healthcare provider or facility can withhold certain documents. Those documents include psychotherapy notes, information that the healthcare provider or facility will use because it is gathering data for a lawsuit, information that the healthcare provider or facility reasonably believes could somehow threaten your life or your physical safety, and information that the healthcare provider or facility reasonably believes could somehow constitute a threat to the safety or life of another person.
Can a Healthcare Provider or Facility Deny Your Request?
Yes. However, if the healthcare provider or facility denies your request, they must provide a denial letter that explains why they refuse to release your medical records. Additionally, you may have the right to appeal the denial. If you’re involved in a personal injury claim, you may find that it is easier to allow your attorney to handle the request for medical records and the appeal if the request is denied.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Copy of Your Medical Records?
Under HIPAA, the healthcare provider or facility must provide a copy of your medical records within 30 days after the request was made. If it will take more than 30 days to provide your records, the provider or facility must provide you with a documented reason for the delay. However, some states require facilities and providers to give a copy of the medical records within a shorter amount of time. In Texas, medical providers have 15 business days to respond to your request.
Free, Confidential Personal Injury Claim Review
If you were involved in an accident in Texas and you think you have a personal injury claim, call Thompson Law and get the 4’s on your side at 214-444-4444 anywhere in DFW, or toll free at 1-800-LION-LAW. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Thompson Law offers free, confidential reviews of potential personal injury claims. If you were hurt because of the actions of another person, you could be entitled to financial compensation. To learn more, contact us today at 866-293-4768.