Florida medical malpractice lawyer explains the difficulty of getting medical records to investigate a medical malpractice claim.
Many times when I speak to a potential new client inquiring about a medical malpractice claim I ask them if they have any medical records that we can take a look at? A frequent answer that I get is that the healthcare provider, the doctor or hospital, gave them a hard time when they asked for the records. It brings up the question – How hard and how long does it take to get your medical records if we're investigating your medical malpractice case?
It's not that hard. All we need is a signed HIPAA complaint medical authorization and be willing to pay the copy charge for the records.
Under Florida's medical malpractice law, if we notify the healthcare provider that the request is related to the investigation of a medical malpractice claim – they have 10 days to respond with the records. This law can be found in Chapter 766.204, which says:
(1)?Copies of any medical record relevant to any litigation of a medical negligence claim or defense shall be provided to a claimant or a defendant, or to the attorney thereof, at a reasonable charge within 10 business days of a request for copies, except that an independent special hospital district with taxing authority which owns two or more hospitals shall have 20 days. It shall not be grounds to refuse copies of such medical records that they are not yet completed or that a medical bill is still owing.(2)?Failure to provide copies of such medical records, or failure to make the charge for copies a reasonable charge, shall constitute evidence of failure of that party to comply with good faith discovery requirements and shall waive the requirement of written medical corroboration by the requesting party.
The penalty for not responding within the time limit under the law is that the healthcare provider waives the requirement of a supporting affidavit of a medical expert if a medical malpractice claim is pursued.
I share this information with you so you have an understanding that it's not that difficult to get your medical records and you shouldn't allow a healthcare provider to put up road blocks. If you plan on pursuing a Florida medical malpractice claim, there will be roadblocks throughout the process. You have be ready to go around the roadblocks or crash right through them.
If you have any questions about a Florida medical malpractice claim, you can call me directly on my cell at (352) 267-9168.