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New Law Gives Virginia Medical Malpractice Victims Access to Hospital Records

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2011 | Medical Malpractice

Are you a victim of a surgical error in DC? New legislation gives you the right to access the hospital’s investigation report of your injury.

After a medical error has occurred in an operating room, a hospital must conduct an investigation to see how the error took place and take steps to prevent it from happening again. However, until this bill was passed, the hospital did not have to disclose the contents of the incident report to the patient.

House Bill 2373, which passed earlier this year, states that hospitals must release “incident reports prepared by first-hand witnesses regarding occurrences involving actual or potential injury or death of a patient” to the victim and his attorney. These documents, once considered “privileged communications,” may be used as evidence in addition to a patient’s medical records in a medical malpractice case.

While many patients understand that something went wrong during their surgery, they only get the information that the doctor is willing to give. Under House Bill 2373, medical professionals must account for any errors in plain language, even if the information plainly shows negligence on the part of the hospital or surgical team.

This piece of legislation brings victims one step closer to justice and compensation for their suffering. To learn more from an experienced Fairfax medical malpractice attorney, call Shevlin Smith today at 703-721-4233 for a free consultation.