The process of obtaining medical records in Illinois can be a frustrating experience for surviving loved ones. Nursing homes are often reluctant to divulge “sensitive” documents, and – compounding the problem- family members are required to go to probate court, by law. The probate process tends to be an extremely time-consuming and inconvenient experience for all involved.
A bill currently under consideration by Gov. Pat Quinn could change things dramatically. The bill, which must be signed by Quinn in order to become a law, would only require that families supply a written request for medical records, along with a small fee.
This represents a major step forward for families seeking to find out the truth about their loved ones. As a personal injury lawyer who’s represented numerous nursing home abuse cases, medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuits, I often see families who get thwarted in their quest for truth by obscure and impersonal laws. Even as a seasoned lawyer, I’m continually shocked by how difficult it is to obtain these most basic documents.
Family members who suspect their loved one died a suspicious death (and even those who don’t) deserve to know how their relative spent his or her final days. If you think your loved one died under suspicious circumstances, or are encountering difficulties obtaining medical records, we would be honored to speak with you. All of our initial consultations are free and completely confidential.
Update: Governor Quinn signs SB 1694 into law 11/23/11. Check out this new piece of Illinois legislation here.
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