How much of my privacy would be exposed if I file a medical malpractice lawsuit?

I am deciding if I should sue several doctors in one hospital and one private doctor. How much of my privacy would be part of the public record? For instance, my vital statistics like social security number, my medical and mental health records, my friends, my lifestyle, my tax returns and financial transactions, my family records, my work history, things that I own etc. Would that loss of privacy also be true of the doctors that I sue also?

Brooklyn, NY -

Attorney Answers (7)

David Ian Schoen

David Ian Schoen

Medical Malpractice Attorney - Windsor, VT
Answered

Almost everything is fair game in a medical malpractice case and you can be sure that the defendants will try to go fishing for whatever they can. Your life will become an open book although there is now an attempt to protect your SS#. Your social media sites will also be scrutinized. In recent years, changes in the law in NY have also made it more difficult for attorneys to object to questions asked by the defendants' attorneys. Do not bring a lawsuit like this unless you are willing to open up your life in this fashion.

Jayson Lutzky

Jayson Lutzky

Personal Injury Lawyer - Bronx, NY
Answered

In discovery your medical and mental health condition and treatment is an open book. Financial records and work history and anything related to financial matters is discoverable for damages. If the injury warrants it they may even have you followed and videotaped by a private investigator. Discuss the details with your prospective medical malpractice attorney.

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Marco Caviglia

Marco Caviglia

Personal Injury Lawyer - Poughkeepsie, NY
Answered

It all comes out unless you obtain a protective order, limited or otherwise.

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Lars A. Lundeen

Lars A. Lundeen

Personal Injury Lawyer - Rutland, VT
Answered

Information relevant to the claim or defense of the claim will be required to be produced during the course of discovery. Generally the public does not have access to this type of information and it is kept with the plaintiff and defense attorneys.

You may find it helpful to review the Legal Guide I have published on Avvo.com which deals with medical malpractice and what it is. You should discuss your concerns with any attorney that you wish to hire.

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.

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Tanya Marie Bachand

Tanya Marie Bachand

Personal Injury Lawyer - Bridgeport, CT
Answered

To be perfectly frank, your life will be laid bare. But the reality is that unless you are a celebrity, no one but the defense attorneys is going to care.

This is general advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Effimia Soter

Effimia Soter

Personal Injury Lawyer - New York, NY
Answered

When you commence a medical malpractice action, your entire life history medically becomes relevant and this may go back to the time of birth. (in general this is also the case for any lawsuit where you claim a pre-existing injury/condition)

Friends and lifestyle in theory should not come into play b/c that is not relevant.

As for tax returns, those come into play if you are self employed. Work history is key if you are making a loss of earnings claim. Family records and financial transaction will be left out unless they are somehow relevant to the cause of action.

Doctors are sued all the time. They don't exactly have a loss of privacy issue to worry about.

This response will not create an attorney-client relationship.
Christian K. Lassen II

Christian K. Lassen II

Medical Malpractice Attorney - Philadelphia, PA
Answered

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