Why does my Solicitor want to see my medical records?
If you have been a victim of a personal injury accident such as an accident or injury at work, a slip trip or fall in a public place or a road traffic accident and are pursuing a claim for personal injury compensation then it is more likely than not that your solicitor has asked to see your medical records.
At Aston Knight Solicitors, a local solicitors in Bury, we often get asked by our clients why do their personal and private medical records need to be disclosed. It can seem intrusive, but it is, in many cases, an essential part of pursing your claim. It does not matter whether you have been involved in an accident at work or a slip, trip or fall your solicitor will ask to see your medical records.
Your medical records are an important part of any personal injury claim. Once obtained they are sent to the medical expert instructed in your case and form an important part of the expert’s assessment as they will identify any entries which are relevant to the injury for which you are claiming compensation. The medical records are also used to help the medical expert establish a diagnosis and prognosis and ascertain whether you had any pre-existing conditions.
In some cases, if you attended your doctor or a hospital after your accident, the entries in your medical records can assist in proving your claim. For instance, if you suffered an injury at work and attended your doctor and told your doctor the circumstances of your work injury, your doctor may have recorded this in your medical records and this could assist if there is ever a dispute over the circumstances of the accident.
Who will see my records?
Your Solicitor will have first sight of your records and will review them and sort them into chronological order before sending them directly to a medical expert. Once the expert has reviewed the records and completed their report they will either return them to your Solicitor or destroy them confidentially. Please be assured that both your Solicitor and the medical experts are bound by the Data Protection Act 1998 and are unable to disclose any information about you to any other person or organisation without your consent or without an order by the Court.
In some circumstances it may be necessary to disclose medical records to your opponent’s Solicitors, Insurers or Medical expert who are bound by the same Act. Your medical records will never become public during the course of a personal injury claim.
Can I refuse access to my medical records?
If you refuse your Solicitor access to your medical records, your claim may be significantly hindered. Your opponent’s solicitors or insurers may consider that you have something to hide and this may lead to doubt being cast on your claim.
In some circumstances it may be permitted for clients to authorise limited disclosure of records to their solicitors referring to parts of medical history that are relevant to your current injuries but this can cause some difficulties as the medical expert may be unable to provide accurate or clear reports without access to all the records.
If you need any advice please contact a member of our experience team on 0800 999 6661 or email firstname.lastname@example.org