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Who will see my medical records in a personal injury claim?

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How can I view my medical records?

If you are pursuing a personal injury claim, it is necessary for your personal Injury solicitor to obtain a full set of your medical records.

Obtaining medical records is an essential part of pursuing a personal injury claim as it allows your solicitor to link the accident to the injury, to find out more about the injuries you have sustained and any treatment you have received, and to ensure that any pre-existing conditions or symptoms can be taken into account.

Medical records can only be released to your solicitor if you provide them with a signed written authority addressed to the holders of the medical records.

Medical records are only requested if they are considered necessary and relevant to the claim. Usually, your solicitor will need a complete set of your GP records going back to birth in order to ensure that a complete medical history is provided, including any relevant pre-existing health issues. You may feel that certain parts of your medical records are very personal and do not wish for them to be disclosed to your solicitor. Whether they do need to be obtained will depend on what they relate to and whether it is relevant to the injuries you are claiming for. For example, if you are claiming for psychological injuries, any previous records relating to your mental health will be relevant.

In some cases involving minor injuries, medical records may not be required.

The medical records are usually obtained prior to a medical expert being instructed. Upon receipt of the records, your solicitor will review them and forward a copy to the medical expert for their consideration when preparing a report on your injuries.

Your solicitor will not disclose the contents of your records to any other organisation or person without your consent. However, if you refuse this consent the court will likely make an order for disclosure of the records to your opponent once court proceedings have started.

Your records will never become public in the course of the personal injury claim. Any person or organisation that sees copies in connection with your claim will have to follow the very strict rules of legal privilege and data protection, which should mean that your records aren’t disclosed to anyone who doesn’t need to see them for the purpose of your personal injury claim.  

If you or anyone you know has been injured and wish to pursue a personal injury claim then please do not hesitate to contact Stephensons on 0161 696 6235, where one of our new business advisors will be able to talk through any concerns you may have.

By Sharon Edwards, admin paralegal