therapy records

Can Your Therapy Records be Used in a Car Accident Lawsuit?

When you’re involved in a car accident, there are countless aspects to consider when determining fault. This is especially true when the incident enters a legal battle in court. One aspect many do not consider, however, is therapy records. 

Generally speaking, you have an inalienable right to privacy that covers your medical records. This right is not absolute, though. There are times when this right is waived in the legal system. So, how does this affect a car accident lawsuit?

Use of Past Medical Records

Imagine you are in a car accident and suffer a leg injury. In order to receive the full compensation you need for your leg, you might have to prove to the court that you have suffered injuries to that leg previously. 

Since the situation is different when previous injuries are involved, you would need to disclose medical records to prove how much compensation you need to take care of a re-injured leg. In this scenario, it only makes sense to waive your right to privacy, so long as it only pertains to the leg in question.

For medical records pertaining to mental health, a plaintiff might waive the right to privacy in order to show non-economic damages. These include pain and suffering, emotional distress, fear, and anxiety. Therapist records are an immense help in proving these types of damages in court. 

How Your Records Work for You

There are two types of claims for emotional distress. One is called “garden variety,” which simply means you suffered what anyone would in the situation. Since this is a car accident, you’ve suffered the same emotional distress anyone would after a collision. 

The second is called a special claim, which states that you suffered more than the average individual would during and after the event. Anxiety, depression, and PTSD are excellent examples of conditions that could cause someone to experience a more distraught emotional response to an incident. 

Your therapy records can prove that you have a special claim in court, showing the therapy you’ve undergone and the extent of your emotional damages. It also shows how difficult recovery has been, which is vital to making your case.

Getting Started

If you’ve been involved in an auto accident where you suffered emotional damages, either garden variety or those of a special claim nature, then your therapy records can be a key piece of evidence in court.

You should speak with a skilled legal professional, a car accident injury lawyer Bay Area or your location, to discuss your options and how to proceed. They will help you identify if you have a case, build that case, and take it to court.

For many drivers, compensation doesn’t end at hospital bills and car damages. It goes beyond that to encompass the pain and suffering a person experienced both mentally and emotionally from the incident. On both ends of the spectrum, you have the right to seek the compensation you deserve. 


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