Q: Can I sue my employer for not allowing me to turn in a patient for a hit and run that is financially impacting me?
My car was parked and a patient backed into it and drove off. There were many witnesses who confirmed it was a patient at my job but due to hipaa, my job says I can not press any charges to help pay for repairs on my vehicle. Insurance says if we know who did it, we would not have to pay any fees since their insurance would take care of it. But it is impossible since my job is protecting the patients information.
A: I do not how HIPAA would affect your ability to pursue a hit and run case against the patient. Driving a motor vehcile in the parking is wholly unrelated to treatment and medical charts. I think your employer is wrong, if, in fact, that is what they are alleging. The act of striking a vechicle is at least two crimes (Hit and Run, Failure to Fullfill the Duties of a Driver) and a couple infractions (Careless Driving, Proper Lookout). You should consult an attorney who specializes in personal injury claims, they should be able to assist you. In some cases, you might not be able to use senstivite medical information that you learned from your job agaisnt the driver at trial. For example, if you knew the patient took a sedative prior to getting into their car to drive--but was told by the doctor that they could not drive-- then there could be an issue with confidentiality, and how you learned about the medical condition. However, the protections of medical confidentiality are not so firm they allow a patient to get away with acting irresponsibly as if they were a foreign dignitary. I am sorry you are experiencing this, and I know it is frustrating. Best of luck as you seek restiution for your loss(es).
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