It is usually faster and sometimes cheaper to do it yourself, but health care providers are much more likely to leave things out if records are requested by a patient. The exception is the VA system, they are very good about providing records to veterans. Another problem with getting your own records is that you may not know what to get. An experienced lawyer will interview the potential client and zero in on what is needed. When the records arrive, the lawyer will generally have a good idea if things were left out that should be there, and will have the background to understand what he or she is reading. Another disadvantage of getting the records yourself is that you will try to read them, and have no idea what you are reading. In cases where clients come to me with records, I generally have to re-order them myself, or order more. For these reasons, I generally discourage people from ordering records themselves.
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It would be faster to get records yourself. But, the question here is what are you wanting the records for? What type of records are you wanting? If this is for a legal issue I strongly suggest you seek legal advise before communicating with the other party involved.
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