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Gathering Evidence for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Updated July 30, 2020 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

Have you been a victim of medical malpractice? There are several steps to filing a medical malpractice claim, and an important part of the process is gathering evidence.

In medical malpractice cases, patients must prove medical negligence on the part of their healthcare provider. To help show negligence and support your case, you need to collect your medical records and other relevant evidence.

Medical Records Are Key

Medical records and supporting healthcare documentation are key to building a medical malpractice case. These records can include notes, test results, prescriptions, consultation records, or evaluations. Accessing and requesting a copy of your records is the first step in gathering evidence.

Accessing Your Medical Records

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule is a federal law establishing standards to protect medical records and private health information. The regulation gives patients the right to their health information as well as the right to obtain copies of their medical records.

You or your personal representative—parent or guardian of a child, executor of a deceased individual’s estate, advocate with written permission, etc.—are the only individuals who can access your records.

Medical providers cannot charge a fee or deny your request due to unpaid medical care. However, they can charge for the cost of copying and mailing your records, if applicable.

How to Request Your Medical Records

In most cases, all you need to do to get a copy of your medical records is to submit a written request or fill out a form. You can get a form in-person at the medical office or have it delivered by mail, fax, or email.

If your office doesn’t have a request form, write a letter including the following information:

  • Name, Social Security number, and date of birth
  • Address, phone number, and email
  • List of requested records
  • Signature

You may need to contact several medical and healthcare providers, such as your primary care physician, specialists, pharmacists, laboratories, or hospitals.

Other Types of Evidence

Although medical records are crucial to your medical malpractice case, other types of evidence can be helpful as well—specifically names and dates.

Keep an organized record of the names of healthcare professionals you interacted with during your medical treatment. Include doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, and lab technicians, and write down what you can remember about your conversations with them. Create a timeline of events as well. Add the dates of your hospital stay, appointments, treatments, and any other relevant times or dates you remember.

Consult with your attorney to see what additional information you can collect to help build your medical malpractice case.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of medical malpractice, contact the attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. An experienced Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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