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Is it true in a malpractice case that I can receive my medical records quicker than if my attorney made the request?

Kaukauna, WI |

Is it true in a malpractice case that I can receive my medical records quicker than if my attorney made the request?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. It is common that we find healthcare providers dragging their feet when producing records to a law office. Frequently, the staff has been instructed by the lawyers for the physician's office or hospital to do that so that the records can be reviewed in-house to determine why a law office may be requesting those records. They do this for obvious reasons. The dynamic is slightly different when a patient comes in requesting a copy of his or her own chart. If there is no clear indication that the records are going to be used to investigate a possible lawsuit situation we find that the records are produced much quicker. This is only one of a number of reasons why a client might be asked to obtain a copy of the chart directly.


  2. Absolutely. Go pick them up in person and save yourself 2-3 months initial delay.

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  3. In addition, the patient can get one copy free and the costs are substantial for the law office (and eventually the client)

    In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does it form an attorney-client relationship. You should seek counsel in your geographic area regarding any specific questions.


  4. I seem to be in the minority on this issue. Usually the patient can get them quicker, sometimes cheaper. The problem is that when patients get records, they often don't get everything they need. Health care providers are more likely to leave things out when the patient requests records. Talk to a lawyer before you start getting records and follow the lawyer's advice.

    Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. Responses to Avvo questions are for general information purposes only, and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice.


  5. I agree that it is true that a person requesting their own records can get them sooner than if they have an attorney request the records. I also agree that the records given to a plaintiff are usually not complete and may not tell the entire story. To that end the records the attorney receives are usually culled by defense and unless you are well versed in the forms a facility uses you may need to wait until discovery and request a document and form list and go through the records for completeness and altering

    I tell people that medical malpractice cases are fun to handle in that I almost always find some irregularities in the records. This is less common with electronic records

    Kenneth LaBore
    Minnesota Nursing Home Neglect Attorney

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