Once someone has been injured in an accident, that victim should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Still, the doctors working in an emergency room do not know the medical history of each patient that they examine. They base their initial conclusions on their observations, combined with the patient’s complaints and the physician’s familiarity with typical injuries and illnesses.
That series of facts helps to underscore the value of a patient’s medical record. That value persists, even after that patient has been treated and cured. The record’s value could again get highlighted, if the former patient were to get involved in an accident, and then file a personal injury claim.
Valuable facts contained in a claimant’s record:
• Known allergies
• History of any interaction with a specific medication
• History of past surgeries or therapies used
• History of past illnesses or congenital defects
A knowledge of such facts could alter the diagnosis offered, following the initial observation of an injured victim. Indeed, an experienced physician will recognize the need for an expert’s opinion, if a victim seen earlier comes forth with facts that dispute the physician’s earlier diagnosis. The Personal Injury Lawyer in Ottawa knows that these aspects need to be considered.
The role of members of the legal system
Those in the legal system have the duty to speak to a doctor that has examined one of their clients. That is especially true, if the same client has been diagnosed with a simple medical condition, when the medical record suggests that a given incident could have produced a more serious medical problem.
If an experienced doctor realizes that a victim’s full history could rule out the doctor’s initial diagnosis, then that physician will acknowledge the need for an expert’s opinion. The doctor will recommend holding-off making any judgement, regarding the victim’s true condition, until after he or she has been examined by a medical professional with the proper specialty.
Who can gain access to a person’s medical records?
• The person who is the subject in all the procedures mentioned in those records.
• A designated representative of that same person, such as someone that has been granted the power of attorney.
• A parent or a legal guardian
• If someone has died as the result of a personal injury, a designated representative, someone chosen by the estate of the deceased has the right to access the decedent’s medical records.
When can such access be denied?
• Any psychotherapy notes can be withheld from access
• Any information that could put others in danger can be withheld from access
• Any information that the doctor holding the records wants to keep private, at the request of the patient.
• Any information that might be used in a lawsuit. Someone who needs that information must submit a request to the designated court.