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Medical Records and Insurance
Feb 6, 2013

I was in a car accident, which was not my fault. I was rear-ended by another car that was driven by a 92 year old. I want to speak to a lawyer because I suffered lower back injuries and pain and nerve damage to my right leg. I went to the emergency room because I was have a muscle spasm in my back that caused my right leg to go to sleep. I am an honest person and when they asked for my health history, I told them that I am HIV Positive. This had absolutely nothing to do with my accident or my injuries, but now my emergency medical record shows that I am HIV Positive and I do not want to disclose this to my lawyer or the car insurance company. Can I ask the hospital to remove that my my emergency room medical report as it has nothing to do whatsoever with the accident or why I was being treated? Am I required to disclose my HIV status at the emergency room in this kind of instance?

Response from Mr. Chambers

I'll try to answer your questions. First, I don't know of a law that requires you to disclose your status in an ER setting, however, that would be a state law, so you should confirm that with your own state.

I seriously doubt if the hospital will be willing to revise their records, but you can ask.

In looking out for your own health, I think it would be important to your care to notify them of any condition you have. If you are on medication, it is important that they know about them, and, if they are HIV medications, they will know your status anyway.

HIV+ persons cannot be discriminated against, so don't let either your insurance company nor the other party's try to use your status as a mitigating circumstance. Stay on top of your claim. Talk to your insurance company's claims adjuster to see if the other party is trying to bring in issues that have no bearing on the accident or your injuries.

Good luck, Jacques

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