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Southern Illinois Medical Negligence: How do I Get the Medical Records?

By April 24, 2014Medical Malpractice

Victims of medical malpractice cases must obtain copies of their medical records. Your medical records should be reviewed by a qualified expert who can help to determine if malpractice occurred and if you have a claim for medical negligence. 

Unfortunately, getting your medical records may not be as simple as walking into the hospital or the clinic and asking for them. You do have a right, however, to obtain your records and an experienced Southern Illinois medical malpractice attorney can take care of the process of getting copies for you.

How to Obtain Your Medical Records

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act mandates that healthcare providers must allow you to obtain a copy of your medical records. Illinois privacy laws also ensure that you can obtain your medical history.  Parents may also obtain the records of their children who are under the age of 18.  However, spouse and other close relatives typically cannot obtain your medical records without permission.  Further, if someone is deceased, his family members are not necessarily entitled to the records and cannot simply request them without taking additional steps.

Individual medical care providers may have their own specific processes that must be followed in order to request a copy of your records.  Providers can require that your request be in writing and they may have specific forms you need to fill out or documentation to provide.

When making a request for your records, you normally will need to include:

  • The date you are making the request.
  • Your full name and contact information
  • Your date of birth and/or the medical record number.
  • The dates that the care provider offered medical service to you.
  • Details on the information that you are requesting including whether you want specific test results, the entire record, or records such as x-rays.

Your healthcare provider usually has 30 days from the time that you make your request to respond and provide the records you have asked for. In some cases, it may take longer to get your records, especially if the records are stored off site.

What if I Cannot Obtain My Records

If your care provider does not give you the records you have requested or if you are trying to obtain records for a family member and do not have legal authorization, your medical malpractice lawyer can help you to take action.

Your attorney may be able to go to court and get a subpoena or a court order to obtain the records. When this happens, the court essentially orders the medical care provider to turn over the requested information. Your lawyer can then help you to have your records reviewed by a qualified professional who can testify on your behalf in a malpractice case.

Southern Illinois Medical Negligence Assistance

Southern Illinois medical malpractice lawyers at Carey, Danis & Lowe can help with your malpractice case. Contact our Southern Illinois medical negligence lawyers today at (877) 678-3400 to schedule a free consultation.

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