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Can a defense attorney obtain my medical record through my medical provider?

New Lisbon, WI |

My medical record contains sensitive material unrelated to the event that occurred and I do not wish for that information to be made known. Can the defense attorney obtain or review my medical record by going through my medical provider?

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

It would seem that you have an attorney given that a defense attorney is involved. I would ask you attorney. That said, when you have filed a lawsuit claiming injuries, your records become available to the defense.

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3 comments

Asker

Posted

I do not have an attorney yet, still looking.

Kevin Coluccio

Kevin Coluccio

Posted

If there already is a defense attorney, get an attorney as soon as possible.

Asker

Posted

OK. Will the defense attorney have access to my records at other medical providers, or just where I received service for the incident?

Posted

When you sue on claims that place your medical condition at issue, you impliedly consent to the release of your medical records. If you refuse to consent to the release of your medical records, you will, under general principles of law, be precluded from presenting evidence of your medical condition in your case.

Not legal advic as I don't practice law in Wisconsin. It's just a statement of general principles of law as applied to the facts you state. If you need legal advice, consult Wisconsin counsel. I practice in Vermont ONLY..

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Asker

Posted

Will the defense attorney have access to my records at other medical providers, or just where I received service for the incident?

L. Maxwell Taylor

L. Maxwell Taylor

Posted

The general standard is that the party may make inquiries which are reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Generally this means ALL medical records because the defendant is entitled to inquire into anything which might lead to evidence which would bear upon plaintiff's claims or defendant's defenses.

L. Maxwell Taylor

L. Maxwell Taylor

Posted

There may be exceptions, but that's the general principle of law.

L. Maxwell Taylor

L. Maxwell Taylor

Posted

Understand: The provider can't release your records without your written consent or a court order. It's generally proper for your opponent's counsel to require you to execute a written release for your medical records, where your lawsuit places your medical condition at issue.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your explanations. I have already executed several written releases on my own because I wanted to see if I should further pursue my situation and hire an attorney. Would this be acceptable or would I have to make the same request with the same providers again when the opponent's counsel asks to execute a written release?

L. Maxwell Taylor

L. Maxwell Taylor

Posted

If I were obtaining medical records from an opponent I would want a release. Having the opponent prescreen and cull out records wuld be unacceptable to me.

Posted

They cannot get it unless you signed a medical authorization with the at fault party's insurance company and were given them by the insurance company. But no the defense attorney cannot go out and get your records from the medical provider directly without your written consent.

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David B Pittman

David B Pittman

Posted

Mr. Taylor makes a good point. This will all come out in the discovery phase in a lawsuit if your case goes to trial. Talk to you your lawyer about your specific concerns

Asker

Posted

Thank you for the clarification.

David B Pittman

David B Pittman

Posted

You are welcome and good luck. Don't be afraid to ask your lawyer these things. Remember, they work for you.

David B Pittman

David B Pittman

Posted

You really need a lawyer. This is too much to do on your own..

Posted

Typically, yes.

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Posted

Your lawyer can assist you with this issue. If there are sensitive, unrelated, personal matters in your medical record, your attorney can file for what is called a protective order which would prevent the defense gaining access to this particular information. Speak with your lawyer.

Legal Disclaimer:

If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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