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How Attorney's Rip Off Car Accident Victims

Updated on September 7, 2020
Author Cheryl profile image

Author Cheryl has been in healthcare for over 30 years. Her knowledge coupled with experience allows her to give advice on some subjects.

Slip and Fall You Must Be In Control

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How Accidents Happen

I have driven down a freeway and within seconds the car in front of me tries to change lanes and gets hit from the car behind him. They call it an accident but in all reality it could have been prevented if the person changing lanes would have just turned their head for a brief second before getting over. The would have seen the car in their blind spot if they would have turned to look.

I have also witnessed people falling in stores because someone forgot to place a wet floor sign.

I have also been the victim of falling in a hole in the pavement that you couldn't see until you got right up on it. I did not sue but it could have been prevented if it had been called in to the township for them to fill the hole.

These are things that could have been prevented but they were not. So now there are severe injuries, made up injuries or no injuries at all and it's up to your attorney to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are indeed hurt from your accident.

If You Made It Out Alive You Are Lucky

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Hippa Law's, Right To Access and the High Tech Act

If you go to an attorney to file a law suit I will just tell you it may go on for about two years before you ever reach a settlement. That is the average time it takes for you to complete all of your doctor visits, physical therapy and such. How do I know this? Because my first job out of high school was for an attorney who specialized in bodily injuries.

When you hire an attorney he will have you sign a HIPPA authorization allowing them to have access in obtaining your records. I am going to tell you how this all plays out. You sign the authorization, it is sent to a medical records custodian at whatever facility you sought treatment at. The facility will in turn send the attorney an invoice for the cost of obtaining medical records. The usual fee that is charged is a dollar a page at the hospital. Some emergency room visits can be up to 70 pages depending on how long you were there. The attorney pays for the records, submits it to your insurance company who reimburses them for your records then he charges you a second time when your case is settled for obtaining your records. This is double payment. If you are able to get all your records then by all means do it. Most hospitals do not charge for records if you pick them up.

I always tell the patients when they come to pick up their records for their attorney, to ask for an itemized bill of the break down of payments he has made on your behalf. If you picked up your records and took them too them and they still charge you for records then you need to bring that to their attention asap.

The difference in Right to Access and the High Tech Act leaves patients confused. The attorneys are even more confused then the patients. This law was made up to help the patient get their medical records for free or of a lesser charge. Attorneys have played this out to their advantage. They will type out a letter for you to sign allowing your records to be released to them for a small fee. There will be no authorization signed that will protect you in the advent they decide to release your records to someone else. You totally blew all your protection and privacy by signing that letter. Yes the attorney will get your records at a discount but at what cost to you?

The High Tech Act allows attorneys to ask for your records electronically to either be faxed when paid, on a cd or a flash drive. This is always misconstrued with the Right to Access law. Attorneys want to pay little to nothing for your records and charge you the entire fee.

This is how they make their money and I have yet seen any attorney who actually cares about the patients interest by asking for the patient to sign a letter allowing them to get your records for a deep discount but then charging you a dollar a page.


What HIPPA Means

How To Shut Them Down

You are in charge of your healthcare and a lot of people have got on board in wanting copies of their medical records for their own files.

If you hire an attorney and you are able to get your medical records then do it. Do not sign anything that will put you at risk for them getting your information that you do not want them to see. If you have had an STD or HIV or problems with drugs and alcohol and you don't want them to see it, then make sure you don't initial it on the authorization. If you do initial the part that gives them the right to have all of your records, then it's your fault.

If you are suing for workers comp, slip and fall or a car accident, just know the opposing attorney will subpoena every single piece of paper in your medical file and they can have access if it is coming from a supoena.


My Best Advice

When you have been wrongfully hurt by another person and it could have been prevented and your life has changed forever because of injuries you have sustained, you have a right to sue that person.

When it comes to getting your medical records for your attorney, if you are able to pick them up, then do it.

Do not let them bill you for something they didn't provide if you did in fact get the records yourself. You can also have a family member get your records for you if you sign the authorization giving them permission to pick up your records.

Don't be a victim of abuse from an attorney because they are trying to make as much money as they can. You do not have to sign an authorization giving them permission to get your records. Just simply tell them you will get them and bring them to them.


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