If you have been injured on account of another person’s conduct, you could be entitled to recover compensation in a Maryland personal injury lawsuit. However, you might need to obtain copies of your medical records first.
While getting your medical records can sometimes be a confusing process, our Maryland personal injury attorneys can help. You are entitled to the medical records that were made during the course of your treatment. However, records requests will need to be made directly to the healthcare provider that gave you treatment.
Contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291 for a free case review with our Maryland personal injury attorneys.
How Do You Get Medical Records for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in MD?
Your medical records are your property, and you have a right to obtain them for use in a Maryland personal injury case. While you are entitled to get copies of your medical records, the process of actually obtaining them can be challenging. Fortunately, our Ocean City personal injury attorneys have years of experience helping clients gather their medical records from countless sources. What medical records you need to obtain will depend on your personal injuries and what medical providers you visited during the course of treatment.
The first step to getting your medical records is listing all the medical providers you visited. This includes anything from your initial hospital visit to any specialists you visited towards the end of treatment. However, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law intended to protect patient’s privacy, so you will need other documents when you make your medical records request. This means that you must include a signed and dated HIPPA release form with each request, which will allow the medical provider to release the documents to you or your attorney.
Your records request should also include basic information about your care. This includes providing your name, date of birth, social security number, account number if given, the date of your injuries, and the dates of service that you received treatment.
Medical providers should complete records requests in a timely manner, but this is not always the case. However, medical providers in Maryland only have 21 days to provide the requested records. Otherwise, they can be held liable for damages resulting from their withholding of the records. If a medical provider has not responded to your requests, we can help by sending the request on letterhead from our law office, reminding them of their legal duty to provide your records. Healthcare providers tend to respond quickly when they see the request is coming from a patient with legal representation.
What You Should Consider When Requesting Medical Records from a Hospital in Maryland
Hospitals in Maryland are typically large facilities with several different departments. While this is necessary for the reasonable organization of the hospital, it can make obtaining medical records challenging. This is because records requests often have to be made to the specific department responsible for treating the patient. For instance, if you were admitted to the hospital, you will have hospital records for your stay. If you also received X-rays or other testing, you might need to request records from the radiology department. Additionally, you will likely need to request medical records directly from the emergency room department if you were treated in the emergency room initially.
These medical records will be necessary to show the extent of your injuries and your timeline for recovery. They will also help prove how your personal injuries were caused, as your medical records will contain the doctor’s opinion on the cause of your injuries.
Do I Need My Medical Bills for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Maryland?
While medical records will help prove that you were injured and the seriousness of those injuries, you will need your medical bills to help put a value on your personal injuries. Your medical bills will help prove the expenses you incurred as a result of your accident. This is usually the bulk of compensation awarded in a Maryland personal injury lawsuit.
Thus, it is critical that you keep records of all the bills and invoices you receive from medical providers during the course of your treatment. This also includes test fees, prescription medications, therapy bills, and other treatments necessary to help you treat your injuries.
How Else Can My Medical Records Help My Personal Injury Lawsuit in Maryland?
Medical records play a crucial role in validating that your injuries were not pre-existing or related to a prior injury. The liable party will typically argue that your present injuries are associated with your past injuries or accidents and, thus, do not merit compensation. Without medical documentation that confirms that your current injuries are directly related to the accident in question, it can be challenging to establish that your current injuries are not related to previous ones.
If an insurance company or defense attorney can prove that your injuries are due to some other accident or condition, they will not be liable to compensate you for the damages caused by your injuries. Therefore, having medical records supporting your claim is crucial to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. This includes gathering your medical records from past treatment and injuries to submit with your current ones. That way, you cannot be accused of trying to conceal a prior condition and show that you are serious about your current personal injuries.
When you possess medical records proving that you were in a healthy state before suffering a personal injury, it becomes simpler for our team to establish that your current injuries are indeed linked to the incident at hand.
What is the Time Limit to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Maryland?
In case you have suffered a personal injury, it is essential to be aware of the time limit within which you can file a lawsuit in Maryland. According to Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art, § 5-101, the statute of limitations for a personal injury victim is three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Therefore, it is important to take legal action within the stipulated time, or you will be barred from recovering compensation.
This time can go by quickly, so it is important to start your personal injury lawsuit as soon as possible. That time might be necessary if you have a great deal of medical records that must be collected in your case.
Our Maryland Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help
For a free case evaluation with our dedicated Baltimore personal injury lawyers, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.