Brain Injury Legal Rights

Written by Shirley Parker
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A patient's legal rights include the right to obtain answers to medical questions from his doctor. This may often be easier said than done, even if competent family members accompany the patient, to write down the answers for him. One reason for the frustration is that doctors allot so little time to medical appointments, especially if you're an HMO participant. However, in a case that's likely headed for litigation, the extra time with your doctor(s) is a must.

When the appointment is set up, it's important to tell the nurse or other appointment setter that you need a specific or minimum amount of time with the doctor. Of course, you may have a larger co-pay, but it's important to get your questions answered without being pushed out the door. And if you do have a case strong enough for a lawsuit to be filed, eventually you will get back the co-pay amount.

You have the legal right to copies of all your medical reports. Also ask the doctor for a written diagnosis that isn't couched in obscure legal terms. Ask him or her to please put it in plain English, or whatever other language you both share, as long as your attorney can read it, too. You, or your attorney, also have the legal right to obtain copies of any accident and police reports that might be in existence.

Get a Good Book on Legal Rights

Books on legal rights for brain-injured patients aren't plentiful, but they can be purchased or borrowed from libraries. Choose one that's written by a legal expert for the layperson. If you're fortunate, the law firm you're considering will give you one at no cost.

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