When you are injured in Ohio as a result of someone’s negligence (whether in a car accident, truck accident, hit by a car crossing the road or crosswalk, etc.) and you make a claim for the injuries you suffered as a result of the person’s negligence, you put your health at issue. This means that the liable parties and those paying the bills (usually the insurance company for the person who was negligent) is entitled to access some of your medical history. Obviously, you want to disclose those that are for treatment as a result of the accident to prove damages. There are limits on what they are entitled to view however. The liable party is only entitled to receive medical records which are related in some manner to the injuries claimed, or, in other words those that are not privileged. In order for the insurance company to obtain your medical records, they must either be produced from you or your attorney or obtain a signed release from you which allows them to obtain your records directly.
So, what if the insurance company or someone else obtains your medical records from a medical facility or another third party without your consent? Not only would this be a violation of federal law under HIPAA, but under Ohio law as well. Ohio recognizes a separate cause of action for the unauthorized disclosure of privileged or protected information to a third party, both against the party who obtained the information and against the party who disclosed the information. Ohio’s “disclosure of protected information” tort was solidified by the supreme court in Hageman v. Southwest General Heath Center, et al., 119 Ohio St.3d 185, 2008-Ohio-3343 (2008).
Whenever you put your medical condition at issue, a competent Ohio injury attorney should be able to protect you from unauthorized disclosure or use of your medical information.
For more information about this subject go to www.Chesterlaw.com and request a copy of my free Book entitled The Insider’s Guide to Handling Ohio Accident Claims. You can also order my free DVD entitled What you should know about motor vehicle injury claims. Both the free Book and free DVD describe in more detail what you need to know to protect your rights NOW.
Call the experienced personal injury attorneys at Chester Law Group today to get the help you want from people you can trust 800-218-4243.