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How much information could an accident attorney actually get when they subpoena for medical records given they current HIPPA .

Sacramento, CA |

This does not pertain to any one case. I am just curious. I want to know if under the current HIPPA/ Privacy laws how much information could an attorney actually get in an auto accident if that attorney were to subpoena a person's medical records. How well do these laws actually protect a person in these situations.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Best answer

    The recipient of a valid subpoena will not ordinarily decline to produce whatever items are therein itemized for production based on HIPAA or any other considerations. A subpoena is a legal and enforceable command, authorized by law. The consumer (person whose records are demanded by subpoena) will receive notice of the subpoena before the materials are provided in compliance. The consumer can bring a motion in court to limit the scope of the production of material under the subpoena, or to quash it altogether. HIPAA can be raised by the consumer's motion, but it will not ordinarily trump the California standard for discoverable information and evidence (relevant or likely to lead to relevant). The court will rule on the consumer's objections and issue a protective order if appropriate in the court's view. HIPAA is not the only ground for objection. California also recognizes the confidentiality of medical records under the Evidence Code and in common law, and statutory, Constitutional and common law rights of privacy, as well as the limitations in California discovery law.

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  2. What ever is sought as long as the records are still available. However psychiatric records my be privileged if there is no claim regarding mental problems, such as depressions etc. Your question is very general and does not lend itself to an easy answer.

    My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced 39+ yrs. I can be reached at 213-819-1171. I practicein Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. I give only appointments over the phone., these services do not create an attorney client relationship. My answers may offend as I do not believe in pulling punches or sugar coating the truth, I use common sense as well as the law. Other state's laws may differ and I would appreciate it if you feel like marking my answers helpful or best. There are a lot of really good attorneys on this site, I will do limited appearances which are court documents , less expensive.


  3. What ever is sought as long as the records are still available. However psychiatric records my be privileged if there is no claim regarding mental problems, such as depressions etc. Your question is very general and does not lend itself to an easy answer.

    My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced 39+ yrs. I can be reached at 213-819-1171. I practicein Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. I give only appointments over the phone., these services do not create an attorney client relationship. My answers may offend as I do not believe in pulling punches or sugar coating the truth, I use common sense as well as the law. Other state's laws may differ and I would appreciate it if you feel like marking my answers helpful or best. There are a lot of really good attorneys on this site, I will do limited appearances which are court documents , less expensive.