Do You Need Your Medical Records Before Contacting an Attorney?
A medical malpractice lawsuit involves a lot of paperwork, and one of the first items an attorney will likely seek out are your medical records. Assuming it was properly kept, your medical record details all of the decisions doctors and other healthcare providers made during your treatment, and can help pinpoint what went wrong in a malpractice case. If your records weren’t properly maintained, that alone can be powerful evidence in your favor. In short, your medical record is a powerful weapon in a malpractice case.
Unfortunately, most people don’t have their medical records on hand, and the prospect of getting these files from a doctor or hospital is intimidating. After all, these are the people, and/or facility, you intend to file a claim against. What if they refuse to help you or share the information?
If you can’t get your records, or don’t feel comfortable requesting them, you can still seek out an attorney and proceed with an investigation of your claim. Your attorney will contact the appropriate personnel to get a copy of your medical records. Ultimately, it is your legal right to have access to your medical record (HIPAA never prevents you from seeing your own records), but an attorney can obtain them with your written consent. If you do happen to have access to a recent copy of your records, your attorney may be able to review your case before your initial consultation and give you a better idea of the merit of your claim. But ultimately, if you cannot get your records, don’t worry. Contact a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney for assistance.
If you’re considering investigating a medical malpractice claim, and have questions about your medical records or other parts of the filing process, contact the Ohio medical malpractice attorneys at The Eisen Law Firm at 216-687-0900 or online to schedule a free consultation. Our Ohio medical malpractice lawyers focus solely on medical malpractice cases, helping hundreds of clients get the compensation they deserve.