May 18, 2015 • Legal Terminology
What is Authorization?
Authorization is merely a piece of paper that gives somebody permission to get copies of your medical records. If you are contemplating filing a personal injury lawsuit such as a medical malpractice case or an accident case, it is pivotal to know and to comprehend this information.
When you approach an attorney to file a personal injury case, your attorney will need to obtain copies of your medical records. The only way your doctor or the hospital is going to release your records is when they have a special permission slip from you known as an authorization, which allows them to do that
Why are Medical Records Important in a Personal Injury Case?
Your medical records are the only evidence available to prove in court that you have suffered physical injuries and harm. There is no other way you can present your injuries to the court. Secondly, by the time your case comes to trial, you would have already received treatment for your injuries and you might have recovered. However, your medical records will contain the correct information about the injuries you had suffered after the incident and the ordeal that you went through.
Your whole personal injury case is based on making a claim of compensation for your injuries, and therefore it is critical to prove what type of injuries you have suffered, the severity of your injuries and the treatment that is required now and in the future. All this information can be shown in court through your medical records.
Why do You need to Give Authorization to the Defense?
Assuming that your attorney has determined after reviewing your records that you have a valid basis for a case there are certain actions that have to be taken. The main one is after your lawsuit has started, the lawyers who represent the people whom you have sued will also be entitled to obtain copies of your medical records as well. They will be authorized to see that information – your medical records. Many clients ask why they have to provide authorization or permission slips to the defense.
The reason is that when you submit a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries, you are basically claiming that somebody did something wrong and because of that you suffered from a physical injury, harm, and a disability. The defense lawyers are entitled to receive copies of your medical records to evaluate for themselves whether your claims have any merit.
The Defense will want Copies of Your Records Directly from the Source
The defense will often not rely on the copies of your medical records that your lawyer has obtained on your behalf. Based on this understanding, they will ask for and you will be required to grant them authorization or a permission slip, so that they can go directly to your doctors and request copies directly from the source. At that point, the defense will have the opportunity to evaluate your medical records properly and to their satisfaction.
Therefore, an authorization is critical, and it is required you provide it in the course of a personal injury lawsuit in New York. If you seem hesitant to do this, the defense is going to smell blood in the water.