How do I obtain my medical records in full?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How do I obtain my medical records in full?

My doctor’s office claims it can only give 6 years of medical history. I have gone over my mother’s files with her and have found a multitude of misdoings and mistakes made by the doctor and staff that were potentially life threatening. What are the chances of making/winning a medical malpractice case?

Asked on November 23, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

In your state, doctors are only required by statute (e.g. section 333.16213 of the public health code) to keep records for 7 years, so it's quite possible, depending on the exact dates of service, that 6 years of records are all they legitimately have. Furthermore, the statute of limitations, or time within which to bring a lawsuit, for medical malpractice in your state is only 2 years from the date of the injury caused by malpractice (this can sometimes be extended if the patient did not find out, and reasonably could not have found out, about the injury until later), so you can't bring a lawsuit for 18+ years of treatment, anyway--only the last two or so years.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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