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Los Angeles Wrongful Disclosure Suits Lawyers

There are some pieces of information that are meant to be confidential. Not only is it morally wrong to share them without permission, but you’re bound by legal obligation not to share the information with unauthorized people. In order to get an authorization, the person who disclosed the information must specifically authorize the release of information to that individual. Alternatively, the circumstances must meet the requirements for an exception to the confidentiality rule.

One of the most stringent pieces of legislation regarding confidentiality is HIPAA. This act governs everything about how medical professionals can share information about their patients, including who they can share it with and when. It also has regulations for how to store information to protect patient privacy. The act includes a bill of rights for patients that must be respected by medical professionals.

Violations of HIPAA are very serious. People who handle medical information should be made aware of the confidentiality rules as part of their job training. It’s important that everyone knows how to enforce HIPAA guidelines so that they don’t disclose information illegally without realizing it.

If your medical information has been wrongfully disclosed, you may be eligible for a wrongful disclosure lawsuit. The exact structure of the lawsuit will vary depending on who disclosed the information, whether the disclosure was malicious, and how serious the breach was. In some cases, it may qualify as a medical malpractice case that can be settled with the practitioner’s malpractice insurance company.

People who have had their patient privacy violated should talk to a lawyer right away. An attorney will be able to advise you of your rights, review the facts, and determine whether a violation took place. They will also be able to build a case against the guilty party by putting together evidence to prove that a wrongful disclosure took place.

HIPAA has been federal law since 1996, and it officially designates all medical records as private. That includes mental health records, drug treatment records, a person’s HIV status, and any other information about their health. It also includes things like cancer treatments and terminal diagnoses.

Sometimes the information will not be disclosed by a specific individual. There are several ways that your privacy might be violated:

  • Your records were made vulnerable to an unauthorized third party because of a data breach.
  • Your records were not maintained properly, which led them to become compromised.
  • An unauthorized entity looked through a paper copy of your file that they shouldn’t have had access to.
  • An authorized person disclosed information in your file to an unauthorized person, either through writing or by word of mouth.

Wrongful disclosure suits are typically filed in state court, so the procedure will vary depending on where you live. In addition, you can file an official complaint through the Department of Health and Human Services.

Taking Action

If you have reason to think that your medical information has been subject to a data breach or shared improperly, there are a few steps you can take. One of the first is to contact an experienced lawyer who can help you understand your rights more in-depth.

You can get in touch with the entity or the person who disclosed the information. Ask that they get the records that have been disclosed, and formally request that any copies belonging to the unauthorized entity are destroyed.

There are many cases in which the responsible individual or company wants to help. Data companies care about protecting their reputation and avoiding major lawsuits, so they take great pains to follow up on security breaches. Similarly, a person who left your medical records vulnerable to unauthorized access might have done so by mistake. It could be something as simple as leaving your file on an unsecured desk while they went to use the bathroom.

In these situations, the responsible party is typically willing to assist.

Filing a formal HHS complaint is your next step. You can describe what happened to a representative. At that point, you can request that the department opens an official investigation. They will then be obligated to follow up.

If the department does discover that HIPAA violations occurred, they have two options. One is to handle the matter themselves by disciplining the responsible person or giving them a warning. Another is to forward the case to the Department of Justice. This typically happens when there’s evidence of willful and malicious wrongdoing that can be prosecuted in court as a federal crime.

There is an official Health Information Privacy Complaint form that you can fill out. It must be sent to HHS in the 180 day period following the incident. You should double-check that you’re mailing the form to the correct location for your region.

Lawsuits

In some states, you also have the right to file a lawsuit for doctor-patient confidentiality breaches or invasion of privacy. In both cases, you can receive compensation for the injuries or consequences you suffered because of your records being disclosed.

Lawsuits are not governed by HIPAA, but courts use HIPAA confidentiality rules as the standard when determining liability.


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"Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them..."

David Bruce

"Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet."

Rowlin Garcia

"Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind."

Francis Anim
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