Car Accident Victim’s Past Mental Health Records Discoverable

Posted on: June 26th, 2012       Attorney Thomas Newell

On April 26, 2010, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ordered a car crash victim to sign authorizations permitting the defense to access her past mental health records.  The injured woman filed a lawsuit seeking a damage award as the result of an automobile accident.  Part of her claim was for mental health related problems caused by anxiety in dealing with the crash and her physical injuries.

During the discovery process, the defense requested access to her past records of both physical and mental health injuries.  While the PA car accident attorney provided authorizations for the physical injury records, he claimed the mental health documents were protected by privilege.  The Appeals Court ruled that by claiming an aggravation of a pre-existing mental health condition, the Pennsylvania car accident victim made relevant her past treatment history.  Gormley v. Fagar, (Pa. Super. April 26, 2010)

For a personal injury consultation call 800-980-4842