There are several phases in a vaccine case and we will go over each phase in a single post.
You’re through the onboarding process. You’ve sent in your signed legal services contract, medical records release forms, the PAR Questionnaire, intake form and your narrative. The phase is medical records collection and your affidavit.
We will take the PAR Questionnaire you filled out and prepare a provider list and signed HITECH medical records release forms. [NOTE: The Vaccine Court requires that we (the lawyers) collect medical records. We must collect either records with a certificate of completeness aka certified records, or records via HITECH form. Records submitted via HITECH usually have a page count that confirms we have all of the records.] We use the HITECH form first because it has become increasingly difficult to get certified records. In addition, we want the records to be sent electronically – which is the purpose of the HITECH form. It’s more efficient and typically with copies that are easier to read. Each provider/facility will get a release form signed by you sent to them. We initially request all records from January 1st three years prior to the vaccination to the present. For example, if your vaccination was on November 20, 2022, we will request records from January 1, 2019 to the present.
Your primary point of contact during this phase will be the paralegal. They may email or call you for clarification of information on the PAR Questionnaire or to get an additional signed HIPAA form signed. [NOTE: Some medical providers simply ignore our HITECH and HIPAA forms and require us to use their forms. If they do, you will need to sign that form as well.].
This process can take a considerable amount of time. Medical records offices are frequently understaffed or impossible to contact. Our paralegal follows-up routinely and tracks the process in detail. In rare instances, clients may have to contact the doctor’s office themselves to assist us.
Medical records can be quite expensive. Our firm pays for all medical records and you are not responsible for any of those costs. In the rare event the medical provider requires you to pay for and pick up the records, we will keep your receipt to submit it to the Court at the conclusion of the case for reimbursement.
Once the medical records are in, we begin to organize them into exhibits (evidence) to be filed with the court. In addition, we go through the medical records and your narrative to ensure that they are consistent. Once we have gone through everything, we will take your narrative and put it into affidavit format for your notarized signature. Your affidavit will be filed as an exhibit as well. How long this takes, is entirely dependent on the extensiveness of the medical records. Some have very few records, others, have thousands of pages of medical records. We go through them all and complete a thorough review.
Once that is complete, the next phase is to draft the petition containing the detailed relevant chronology of your records, which is our version of a civil complaint.
For more information contact The Law Office of Renée J. Gentry, Esq.