With cases of medical malpractice and nursing home abuse on the rise, patients and their families across the country are starting to record their interactions with medical professionals.
In some states, patients can secretly record their medical providers. In others, it’s not only grounds for the dismissal of evidence, but it can also result in criminal charges.
Here’s what to know about the recording laws for healthcare settings in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and how an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you file a medical negligence claim.
Massachusetts & New Hampshire Are Two-Party Consent States
In the U.S., each state requires either one or two-party consent to record.
In states with one-party consent, only one person being recorded must give permission. This can and usually is the person making the recording.
Two-party consent states require everyone being recorded to give permission. This applies to both video and audio recordings.
Both Massachusetts and New Hampshire are two-party consent states, meaning that to record an interaction with a healthcare provider in either location, the medical professional must be aware of and give consent to being recorded.
Penalties For Making An Illegal Recording
If you record a medical provider without their consent, you won’t be able to use it as evidence in a malpractice or injury claim. You could also face criminal penalties if the provider wants to bring charges against you.
Massachusetts residents face harsh punishment if convicted, including up to 5 years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine.
By comparison, the penalties in New Hampshire are just one year maximum in a state prison and/or $2,000 in fines.
Does Recording In A Healthcare Setting Violate HIPAA?
There’s also the question of whether or not recording in a hospital, nursing home, or other medical facility is a violation of HIPAA law.
HIPAA only prohibits the sharing of protected personal or health information by medical providers and insurance companies, not by patients themselves or their family members.
If you do get permission from the medical provider to record, you don’t have to worry about violating HIPAA guidelines by publicizing the video.
How To Get Evidence To Prove Abuse Or Neglect By A Medical Provider
Not being able to record a provider can make it more difficult to prove neglect or abuse by a medical professional, but not impossible.
For example, neglect can be proven by an hours-long recording in which no medical providers appear to attend to the patient at all. A patient’s own videos may also be usable if they give good insight into their condition at the time.
There are also other forms of evidence that can effectively prove your claim, like:
- Records of suspicious injuries that have no apparent medical cause
- Statements from people who witnessed neglect or abuse
- Injuries that are specific to neglect, like bedsores
- Medical records that show a lack of pre-existing injuries or illnesses
- Documentation of a hospital or nursing home’s negligent hiring practices
- Testimony from a medical expert that that proves your injuries must have been inflicted by the provider and not any other cause
The more evidence you have, especially of different types, the better your chances of success are.
If you have a lot of proof, the responsible party is more likely to settle than risk everything coming out in a public trial. If the provider does allow the case to go to court, your chances of swaying a jury are much higher.
Call The Veteran Personal Injury Attorneys At Mazow | McCullough, PC Today For Legal Help
If you or a loved one were harmed by a medical provider or abused in a hospital or nursing home, don’t wait to seek legal guidance. You need a qualified personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the complexities of tort law and how to get the justice and compensation you deserve.
At Mazow | McCullough, PC, our Salem, MA nursing home abuse lawyers can help you identify mistreatment by a medical provider, gather enough evidence to take the claim to court, and will argue for the best possible outcome in your case.
Contact our office today for more information about medical malpractice claims or to book your free initial consultation to discuss your case by dialing (978) 744-8000 or toll-free at (855) 693-9084.