winter injuries - file a personal injury lawsuit?

winter injuries - file a personal injury lawsuit?

Solid Proof: Medical Records And Your Personal Injury Case

by Franklin Vasquez

If you have been injured in a car accident, your medical records are one the most important pieces of evidence available. Nothing else shows the full extent of your injuries, so ensuring that you keep good records of your medical treatments is vital. In fact, the dollar amount of your medical treatments can often serve as a calculating factor when it comes time for the insurance company for the at-fault party to offer you a settlement for your injuries. You have certain rights to your medical information, so read on to learn more about accessing that information.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

This milestone law paved the way for consumers to access their medical information and has changed the way that most medical facilities operate. You may have noticed the acronym "HIPAA" on one of the forms that nearly every patient has to fill out when visiting a doctor or facility now. That form normally pertains to the privacy portion of the act, which set strict standards about who can access what private and medical information about you. If you need copies of your medical records, however, another major facet of HIPAA is aimed at you.It directs medical facilities to comply with any request for records within 30 days, to show any reasons for denial in writing and to only charge a reasonable fee for making the copies. 

How to Request Your Records

HIPAA laws are relatively concise and specific in most areas, but the manner of requesting the medical records are left up each facility themselves. Your best course of action is to make contact with each and every pertinent facility and make an inquiry as to their procedures for obtaining your records. Many facilities have a form available, but often you must provide your own document. To get the most timely action, be sure to include the following in your request:

  • Your name, address, phone number and email address
  • Date of birth
  • Date range. Be sure to get the date range correct, since unneeded records could only confuse matters and missing a day could mean the loss of valuable information and compensation.
  • Types of records requested. You might need doctor's notes, prescriptions, labs results, etc.

Note: Since many medical facilities outsource some of their procedures and lab work, be sure you request your records from the correct facility. You should have receipts from all procedures, and you may need to request your records from several different facilities and doctors to get a complete set.

When You Receive the Records

Check them over carefully for missing pages and bad copies. Don't hesitate to quickly to request any missing or poor copies once again.

When the Medical Office Does Not Comply With Your Request

The facilities have 30 days, after which you may need to follow up by phone. Sometimes a phone call and a reminder of the time limit pertaining to HIPAA compliance is enough to get some results. If you have a non-compliant facility even after that, you may need to file a formal complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services.

If you need help obtaining your medical records, or with any part of your personal injury claim, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. For more information, visit or a similar website.


About Me

winter injuries - file a personal injury lawsuit?

You are walking down the sidewalk on a brisk winter day and before you know it, you are clobbered by an avalanche of snow that has fallen from the roof above. Although this may be funny to watch on videos, it is never an experience that anyone wants to endure. Serious injuries are sustained every single winter because of the neglect of property maintenance by business and home owners. My husband was seriously injured by a snow avalanche off of a roof and we were left with no choice but to hire an injury attorney to help us recover his lost wages and enough money to pay for the medical treatments he will need for the next several years. My site contains advice and information that can help you get through the legal process of a personal injury lawsuit.