8 Medical Record Retrieval Tips for Busy Personal Injury Lawyers!

Last updated: 26 Mar, 2024By
medical record retrieval for lawyers

Every now and then, minor or major accidents take place in the interiors and exteriors of a place, along with incidents of emotional or mental disturbances resulting in personal injuries. To help such people get compensated against the mistake of the person responsible for the accident/incident, lawyers come forward to provide personal injury litigation support. However, they need accurate medical records to win the trial, and medical record retrieval for lawyers is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process.

Apart from this, retrieving, securing, and organizing the sheer volume of medical data requires a good amount of expertise and experience. The following strategies will help the attorneys and paralegals in not only reducing the time and effort for retrieving medical records but costs as well.

8 Tips to Streamline the Medical Record Retrieval Process for Lawyers:

1. Get Proper Authorization

This is not just true for retrieving medical records but for executing any legal task. Obtaining medical records requires patient permission. Each medical service provider demands a copy of the complaint authorized by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) before releasing the information. The authorization must be signed by the complainant or the person with legal power of attorney.

Getting a permission form signed by the complainant is advised as quickly as possible. Medical service providers have various specific rules that demand different authorizations. You must meet each specification to begin the medical record retrieval process.

2. Make an Error-Free Request

Make sure your request is error-free. Even a single error can cause delays in processing the request. Pay close attention to the complainant’s name, address, and all the details in the form. Attorneys know this process takes time, and mistakes can further delay case preparation and presentation, ultimately affecting their professional image, which no attorney desires.

3. Ensure the Right Price

It is a known fact that the medical record retrieval process is an expensive one. Although it is a regular thing for attorneys to go through, they must ensure that the medical service providers are not charging an ‘unreasonable fee’. Despite HIPAA providing guidelines for fair charging, there have been many instances of ‘overcharging’ by medical service providers in the past. So, make sure you do not make the expensive process even more expensive by not ensuring the right price.

4. Send the Request to the Correct Address

If you do not wish to add more burden to your medical record retrieval process, make sure you are sending the request to the correct address by finding out about the department from where you wish to collect the medical records information. Once you are able to identify and locate the correct department, place a call to verify the details for sending a request to the correct address.

5. Evaluate the Records You Need

You should carefully assess the medical records you need for the trial. Collecting unrelated records is unwise and can be costly due to associated expenses. So, make sure you specify the record types that you need, be it radiology, medications, and more.

6. Follow up on the Requests Placed Regularly

It is vital to follow up on the request you placed to obtain medical records within the stipulated time. The reason is that this process has been arduous and slow over the years. As per Federal Law, requests must be met by the organizations within 30 days of providing a record request receipt. There is no harm in sending a gentle reminder to the providers to speed up the process. If there is an online portal available, you must register on it to track the status of your request from time to time.

7. Organize Medical Records Well

After obtaining the medical records, it is imperative that you organize them in a proper way to use them effectively. These records are varied and comprise information related to billing, patient history, medications, lab tests, physician orders, treatments, and more. When you organize records appropriately, they present a plain view of the complainant’s medical history, facilitating the reviewing of the medical chart. This enables attorneys to find the information quickly for preparing and presenting the case.

8. Seek Technology Help

In the present scenario of digitalization and modernization, technology plays a huge role in streamlining business processes. If we talk about the medical record retrieval process, automation is possible for sure. You just need to select the right service provider to have a fast turnaround time through automation.

After receiving the medical records, technology in the form of optical character recognition (OCR) and artificial intelligence (AI) can help attorneys in locating and organizing the information quickly and accurately. This is extremely helpful when attorneys have multiple personal injury cases to deal with, and this is the only reason that technology is not an option anymore but a necessity for today’s attorneys.

Read: How is Case Management Software Better for Attorney Than Traditional Methods?


This clearly proves that the medical record retrieval process is complicated and time-consuming for attorneys. It requires a lot of effort on their part. With multiple medical record retrieval service providers out there, each having its own unique set of rules, things become even more complicated. To add to this burden is the responsibility of retrieving, organizing, and managing the information for case preparation and presentation. So, is there a way to reduce this excessive workload of attorneys?

Yes, by joining hands with Legal Support World (LSW), a litigation services company, attorneys can eliminate and save time on their time-intensive and non-core tasks. LSW is a renowned outsourcing firm that has been providing legal support services to personal injury and other lawyers since 2008. Get in touch to start your free trial!

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