Privacy in Personal Injury Cases

Privacy in Personal Injury Cases

Privacy in Personal Injury CasesYou should always be aware that, if you are about to engage in a personal injury lawsuit, privacy is a factor you should be concerned about. Many things become ‘at stake’ and your private life may soon become a matter of more public eye. How do you protect yourself from this? Participation in a lawsuit never waives a complete right to privacy.

Code of Civil Procedure, Section 2020.440
California’s Code 2020.440 states, “Promptly on or after the deposition date and after the receipt or the making of a copy of business records under this article, the deposition officer shall provide that copy to the party at whose instance the deposition subpoena was served, and a copy of those records to any other party to the action who then or subsequently, within a period of six months following the settlement of the case, notifies the deposition officer that the party desires to purchase a copy of those records.” This basically implies that, when a personal injury lawsuit takes place, a party’s personal information will be collected by a photocopier. This professional will make distribution to the appropriate parties involved in the case and are required by law to keep copies of the information for at least 6 months after the matter’s final resolution.

So now that you understand what this specific code implies, what is a deposition and why is it mentioned? Deposition is much like a discovery process involved in lawsuits, where an attorney will ask the witness, or deponent, a series of questions relating to the incidents that occurred and brought on the personal injury lawsuit. Deposition questions can generally be broader than what is allowed in court, so they are good for getting to the bottom of things.

An Invasion of Privacy: Public Disclosure of Private Facts
Public Disclosure of Private facts is weighed against the First Amendment’s protection of free speech. Legal action can be taken against a person or any number of people who publicly reveal truthful information that is not of public concern about another, and is also something that a reasonable person would find offensive if made public. This is something that can be considered when a court case makes it into the public eye.

When HIPAA Comes Into Play
When personal injury is involved in a court case, HIPAA may apply. HIPAA is also known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which provides protection for personal health information. It helps to ensure a patient’s right to privacy, and limits who is allowed to access and receive their private information. Restrictions are put in place to protect you from the harmful actions of others who may take that information and attempt to harm you with what they find.

If you are involved in a lawsuit at either a plaintiff or defendant, you will probably be required to disclose a certain amount of personal information like financial and medical documents, identification information, and also many background details about yourself. However, an experienced attorney will be able to protect your rights and keep your information private to you. WTW will work with you to limit the invasion that may be caused by going to court. You can call today to schedule a consultation and find out more information about your personal injury case.


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