Can a Patient Sue for HIPAA Violation in Small Claims Court?
As a patient, the confidentiality of your medical records is of utmost importance. By attending an appointment or having a procedure done, you assume that your private medical information will be adequately protected from unauthorized individuals. However, not all healthcare providers are as diligent about protecting confidential information as they should be, and there are steps you can take to seek compensation if you find that your personal information has been shared without your consent.
Unfortunately, you cannot directly sue your healthcare provider for a HIPAA violation. Because HIPAA does not include a private cause of action, patients are unable to seek compensation for this specific reason. That being said, there are other reasons you may be able to sue your healthcare provider that will produce similar results to suing for a HIPAA violation. Our robot lawyer can help you put together a lawsuit that is based on grounds that are eligible to seek compensation for that fit very similar criteria to a HIPAA violation.
Reasons to File a Lawsuit Against Your Healthcare Provider for a HIPAA Violation
Obtaining compensation after a HIPAA violation can be challenging because you cannot sue for that reason directly, but it is often possible to find a similar reason to file a lawsuit. If you believe you have evidence to support negligence or a breach of contract from your healthcare provider, you may be able to successfully sue your healthcare provider for that reason. You must provide information that supports one of the following claims:
- Your Healthcare Provider Was Negligent
- Your Healthcare Provider Violated a Contract
|Your Healthcare Provider Was Negligent||In many states, failing to adequately protect the confidentiality of each patient’s medical records from unauthorized individuals can be considered negligence. Not keeping your medical records confidential is basically the same as a HIPAA violation in different words, and pursuing this type of lawsuit can often bring in better results as long as you are able to present sufficient evidence that you were harmed by your healthcare provider’s negligence.|
|Your Healthcare Provider Violated a Contract||You may also be able to file a lawsuit against your healthcare provider for a breach of contract. Your healthcare provider has a certain level of responsibility to protect your private health information, and the paperwork you signed prior to an appointment or procedure likely included some information about your healthcare provider’s contract to keep your health information confidential. If you can prove that your healthcare provider violated some type of written agreement, you can often sue on that basis.|
File a Lawsuit Against Your Healthcare Provider for a HIPAA Violation By Yourself
You can generally file a lawsuit against your healthcare provider for negligence or a contract violation by yourself, although you probably have better options available to you.
Although this procedure can be challenging and risky, especially when properly wording exactly what you are attempting to sue your healthcare provider for is of utmost importance, you are allowed to file a formal complaint against your healthcare provider without any assistance.
While this process varies slightly from state to state, you will generally need to:
- Submit a formal document that details who you are suing and why, as well as what type of compensation you are seeking
- Pay any fees associated with filing the complaint before any further action will be taken
Dangers and Issues of Filing a Lawsuit by Yourself
Although there is no law that states that you cannot file a lawsuit in small claims court by yourself, this is usually not the best course of action. Filing any type of lawsuit on your own can be time-consuming and difficult to get right, and the intricacies of seeking compensation in a case that involves HIPAA make it an especially difficult type of case to deal with on your own.
Because you cannot directly sue your healthcare provider for a HIPAA violation, it is in your best interest to find an advocate that can help you find related laws at the state level that your healthcare has violated and present your case appropriately. Attempting to sue your healthcare provider specifically for a HIPAA violation, rather than digging deeper and figuring out what you can actually sue for that still addresses your issue, will likely result in:
- Your case not being heard
- Lost fees
- No compensation
How to Sue Your Healthcare Provider for a HIPAA Violation With DoNotPay
Fortunately, our robot lawyer can quickly search for ways that you might be able to obtain compensation that are related to the HIPAA violation you experienced. Our simple digital filing system makes it easy to submit details about your healthcare provider, how HIPAA was violated, and any ideas you have about related laws you believe were violated that you may want to proceed with. We can then use this information to put together an argument to send to any necessary parties for the best chance at gaining the compensation you deserve.
- Log-in to DoNotPay and select Sue Now
- Enter the dollar amount you are seeking
- Select whether you prefer a demand letter or court filing forms
- Describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable details, including photo proof
How Else Can DoNotPay Help?
DoNotPay is a useful tool in suing any company in small claims court without an attorney. Check out the companies that DoNotPay has helped sue: