If you are the victim of New York medical malpractice by a hospital, doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor, it is vital that you obtain your records immediately after the malpractice has occurred. The most important reason is that an attorney cannot commence a medical malpractice case in New York without having an expert in the that field of medicine review the records and make a determination that there was a “departure from good and accepted medical practice.” Secondly, it is a regrettable but frequent occurrence that when records are requested weeks or months after malpractice was committed, they have been “misplaced” or can’t be located when the doctor or hospital suspects that a malpractice claim is being considered.
To obtain your records from the doctor, hospital or other provider, simply download a HIPAA compliant authorization form from the Internet, write in your name, address, social security number, the specific records you are requesting, where you want them sent, sign and date the form, and give it to the doctor or hospital. In some cases, there may be a fee involved, but the doctor or provider is required to honor the HIPAA form.
The other benefit of having your records is to obtain second opinions when you simply want to get another physician’s determination regarding your medical problem or condition. It is a certainty that the second doctor will want to review your records, and you will be able to obtain a second opinion that much sooner if you arrive for your visit with the records from the original doctor.