Being a party in an accident is a stressful situation that nobody wants to be in. The stress multiplies if you are part of a lawsuit because the defendant decided to pursue legal action against you. In cases like this, the defendant’s insurance company can subpoena your drug or urine analysis from the Emergency Room to bolster their case. If this happens to you, what is your recourse and what can you do?
Your medical record which includes your drug and urine analysis is protected by medical privacy laws. If you are part of a lawsuit and the defendant’s insurance company is requesting to subpoena your medical records, keep in mind that there is a due process that is involved with this. If you allow it or give consent, then they can have access to it. Otherwise, a subpoena or court order is required in this case.
This is a common practice especially if you are a party in a claim that resulted in somebody’s negligence. By getting your medical records, the insurance company can determine if you were incapacitated at the time of the accident which puts the fault on your end.
Read along as we discuss what you can do to protect your rights when this situation happens to you.
What is HIPAA?
HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. In essence, this is a federal law that sprouted the creation of national standards to protect sensitive health information for individuals. Under HIPAA law, disclosing the information to another party or individual without the patient’s consent is illegal and anybody who is found at fault for this is in breach of compliance.
The main thing about HIPAA is that it is against the unauthorized use of your medical information without your consent. If you signed a blanket authorization to release your medical records, then you have waived your right to medical privacy.
What are court orders and subpoenas?
An insurance company can choose to subpoena or request a court order to obtain your drug and urine test when you refuse to provide authorization to them. A court order is an order signed by a judge while subpoenas are issued by somebody else besides a judge like an attorney or a court clerk.
The biggest misconception is that people believe that their medical records can be subpoenaed by the attorney or insurance company just because they are a party to a claim or lawsuit. This is not the case because your medical records are protected by medical privacy laws and there is due process that needs to be followed.
Subpoenas are only used if the normal procedures in obtaining medical records have failed. If the doctor or the hospital is refusing to provide documents or not voluntarily giving the records after request, then it can be subpoenaed so that they can be legally compelled to provide copies.
What to do if your medical records are being subpoenaed?
When the insurance companies move to subpoena your medical records, there are a couple of steps that you can take to prevent this from happening. Before your records can be released, you will be notified that a subpoena has been submitted to obtain your records. If you were notified, you or your injury lawyer can object to the release of your records or seek a protective order from the court.
Your best defense is to contact a personal injury lawyer in the Central Florida area right away. Most attorneys offer a free consultation which you can take advantage of. Time is of the essence in this case because if you don’t do anything, your medical records will be given to the insurance company, and they can use them against you.
Personal injury lawyers are knowledgeable and well-versed in this situation so consulting with one is a beneficial thing because you will be able to know what your rights are and act on it accordingly. Once your medical records are released to the insurance company, there is nothing you can do because they will have information about you.
If the insurance company is trying to subpoena your drug or urine test, contact Jordan Law today!
If you are faced with this specific situation, you should contact Jordan Law in Orlando today to know your rights and what you can do to prevent this. Don’t give up because there is a due process that needs to be followed. Our team of professionals is ready to help you in this situation so you will be better armed with information. Contact Jordan Law in Orlando today and let us help you with our legal expertise.