When bad things happen in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and assisted living facilities, the administrators of those institutions will not want to be held accountable. It’s human nature to avoid responsibility, especially when liability can bring with it major punitive and financial damages for a skilled nursing facility chain. At York Law Firm, we get calls every day from families of patients who have suffered major, and sometimes life-threatening injuries. We know how hard it can be to obtain the medical records of deceased patient.
In many cases, facilities will stonewall families in hopes that their requests for records and documents will go away. It takes time and energy to pursue medical records. But the law is on your side. By law, facilities are required to produce all obtaining medical records of deceased patients when they are presented with an appropriate request from an authorized person. When the facility believes that they may be responsible or have significant liability risk, you can be sure that they will not make it easy in giving you the health records. That, in and of itself, is a tell-tale sign that a case is worth pursuing.
At York Law firm, we often help clients and prospective clients draft letters to the appropriate institutions where a loved one suffered injuries or had experienced unexpected death. We know from experience that sending a letter that lacks certain elements gives tacit permission to administrators to ignore the request. For example, if a family member sends a letter requesting records but does not have proof that they are a next of kin, the recipient will likely look at that and throw it in the trash. “Good,” they’ll say. “I can safely ignore that one.” Months will go by with no response to your request for medical records.
At York Law Firm, we know the games they play and we give them no easy outs. When corporations refuse to play by the rules, we routinely go to the Office of Civil Rights or the Courts.
You might think that a Court Order would be sufficient to get a corporation to produce the required documents, but sadly their games don’t stop there. We often see facility administrators send us either incomplete records, a carefully selected number of records, or records in certain formats that make it impossible to tell if the original documents were altered in some way. You might ask: Why do they do this? The answer — because the facility knows that turning over their health records may implicate them in a case for negligence or wrongful death. The longer the delay, the greater the chances that the problem will go away on its own. Unfortunately, people give up. People want to move on with their lives. People don’t want to be reminded of the horrible things that happened to their loved ones in the skilled nursing facility.
The defendant’s conduct of blocking the truth makes us so passionate about helping our clients. We demand justice, and will not allow the perpetrators of elder abuse and neglect to go unpunished. We fight for our client’s rights. We will not be deterred by their games and we will not go away.
If you are having problems to obtain the medical of deceased patient records from an institution where a loved one passed away, please give us a call. We may be able to help.