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How to Obtain Your Medical Records After an Injury

December 1, 2020

If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another individual, company, or entity, you should be entitled to recover compensation from the at-fault party. During the course of a personal injury lawsuit in Kentucky, it may be required for you to obtain copies of your medical records. These records will almost always be used to prove the extent of the injuries and help determine the total amount of compensation that should be awarded. However, properly obtaining your complete medical records can be difficult.

You Have a Right to Your Medical Records

Under the federal Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), you will find that patients have the right to obtain copies of their medical records from any provider, with a few exceptions. Under HIPAA laws, you are permitted to request:

  • Your own medical records
  • Someone else’s medical records if you are their representative. If another person gives you written permission to access their medical records, then you are allowed to request them as their personal representative. Additionally, many power of attorney cases involve one person being given control over another person’s medical care and will thereby give them the ability to obtain medical records.
  • Someone else’s medical records if you are their legal guardian. If you are the legal guardian of another adult, then you are allowed to access their medical records.
  • Your child’s medical records. In most circumstances, parents and legal guardians are allowed to have access to their children’s medical records. However, there are some exceptions to this.
  • A deceased person’s medical records in some cases. If you are determined by a court or a last will and testament to be the person to settle a deceased individual’s affairs, then you will be allowed to access their medical records under HIPAA laws.

Generally, there is no problem with you requesting your own medical records or the medical records of somebody that you have guardianship over.

How Can You Obtain This Information?

Depending on the type of injury case and your relationship to the injury victim, you will have to go through some sort of process to recover the medical records. Often, this includes releasing the medical records to your personal injury attorney or giving the attorney the authority to obtain these records. In order to do so, this will typically include sending a request with the name of the patient, the Social Security number of the patient, the patient’s address, the patient’s date of birth, and any corresponding account numbers with the agency.

A Lexington personal injury attorney can request these records on your behalf if you give written permission that is signed and dated. This request can be sent to the agency you are seeking the information via mail or fax, though there are many health care providers allow patients to access their medical records through an online portal.

Please understand that many medical providers will charge a fee to release these records. This fee typically includes the cost of employee labor to recover and copy these records as well as compensation to cover postage when they mail the records back to you.

Before you begin the process of requesting medical records, call the agency you will be requesting the records from and ask them about their specific process. Additionally, information about obtaining medical records is usually readily available on the website of most medical providers.