When you file an Irvine car crash claim, you are required to prove your claim. A part of this is to produce the relevant evidence and documentation to support your right to compensatory damages, such as medical records. An Orange County car accident attorney can help you gather this evidence.
In all personal injury claims, one of the basic types of evidence you must produce is medical records. These records basically show the nature and severity of your injuries. They are also used to ascertain that your injuries are indeed related to the accident.
As a claimant in a car crash claim, you may be unsure as to how you can procure the medical records and what kind of records you can get. Here is a look at these areas.
What Medical Records Can be Obtained?
As per the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), you are legally entitled to get copies of all your medical records. However, you can’t get the original records. You have a legal right to view the original records, which is typically possible at the office of a hospital or another medical facility.
A medical provider can withhold a medical record in certain exceptional circumstances. This is allowed when:
- Receiving certain medical information that you are seeking can endanger your life or safety, or that of another person
- The information you are requesting is being a part of another litigation process, such as a lawsuit, being considered by the medical provider
- The information you seek is contained in notes from a psychotherapy session
Applying for Medical Records
In order to apply for medical records, you simply submit a written request to the relevant medical provider. The request should contain specific details, such as your identification information, the dates for which you received treatment, the kinds of treatments you received, and so on. You should also specify the records you want, or state in writing if you want all your records available with the medical provider.
Under California laws, a medical provider must respond to this request and allow you to see your medical records within five days. Copies of the medical records must be made available within a period of 15 days. If there are any delays, the medical provider must share the reason for delay with you.
Who Can Apply for Medical Records?
In addition to seeking your own medical records, you may also sometimes need to get the medical records of a child, spouse, or another person. Here is a look at the medical records that you can access.
Your Own Medical Records
Your own medical records are legally available and accessible to you, with some rare few exceptions noted above. In most instances, you should be able to access your own records quickly and easily.
Records of Someone You Represent
If you have been legally granted the right to represent someone, you can seek access to their medical records. This right to representation must be provided in writing.
As a Legal Guardian
If another adult has agreed to appoint you as their legal guardian, you can apply for that person’s medical records and have the legal right to review these records.
Your Children’s Records
As a parent, you are entitled to get access to your children’s medical records in most cases. However, if a particular treatment or care for your child was ordered by court, or consented to solely by the child, you may be barred from accessing records of that particular treatment.
As an Estate Representative
If you have been appointed as the personal representative of a deceased person’s estate, you are legally entitled to access the medical records of the deceased. This is applicable whether the deceased person appointed you as a representative through a will or you were designated as such by a court.
Denial of Medical Records Requests
A medical provider may deny your request to access medical records for a variety of reasons. If your request is denied, the provider is required to send you a denial letter confirming this. When this is the case, you will need good legal help.
Why Hire an Orange County Car Accident Attorney?
If you have been involved in an Irvine crash and want to access your medical records for filing a claim, we can help you. Here at the Crockett Law Group, our attorneys help you through all the steps of a personal injury claim. Our aim is to work with you to seek the maximum amount of compensation for your losses. Get in touch with us today to discuss your car crash claim with our attorneys.