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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4374
Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience
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My father is 91 years old. A very responsible citizen who

Customer Question

My father is 91 years old. A very responsible citizen who has not had any driving citations or accidents in well over 20 years. He travels in about a 10 block radius from his home, which is a very small town and speed limit is 25 miles per hour. He never ventures on the highway our veers out of his routine. He is of sound mind, and is not demented in any way. He lives on his own, takes care of all of his finances and does very well. He has a good support system with family, neighbors and friends checking on him daily.
Recently, he was admitted into the hospital for some heart issues. He rebounded well, responded to medications and followed instructions. While in the hospital, an in law, my sister's husband, brought up to a Dr. that he had concerns about someone my father's age driving. The Doctor had a discussion with this person, who is not a direct family member regarding this issue. In turn, the Dr. took away my Father's driving privileges and sent forms into the DMV. There was no discussion with me, his power of attorney, my father or my sister.
What help can I get from an attorney or otherwise to get my father's driver's license re-instated? Did the Dr. violate HIPPA laws?
Thank YOU!
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 3 months ago.


I'm sorry to hear about your father's situation. First, with regard to HIPAA, the DMV is considered a public health agency so sharing the information doesn't violate that law. This brochure explains it in depth:

With regard to the cancellation of his license, he has two options. He can either appeal the cancellation, or he can get a new medical examination report that indicates he is medically able to drive:

If he can afford it, I would suggest perhaps getting an attorney to handle the appeal or the request to reinstate along with the new report. Most will handle something like this for a flat fee. Many DUI lawyers are actually very experienced in handling DMV cases like this because of all of the license troubles that accompany DUI cases, as well as attorneys who are experienced in administrative matters. Certainly you and he can try to do the appeal on your own by contacting the DMV and requesting the appeal paperwork, but it sometimes helps to have an attorney that can navigate it for you.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank YOU! This is very helpful. My question regarding HIPPA however, was about the DR. speaking to the in law, not regarding the DMV. I will talk with the attorney on Monday to start this appeal.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Can you address the DR speaking to the in law and what my Dad's rights are regarding that?
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 3 months ago.

Yes, sorry, I stepped away from my computer for a bit.

In terms of HIPAA, it depends on what the doctor actually said to the in-law. If he was discussing with the in-law information that the in-law brought to his attention, it is not protected information. For example, if the in-law says "I have concerns about Joe driving because of the fact that he is unsteady on his feet, has had a couple of fender benders, and blacks out" and the doctor discusses whether those symptoms are something that could result in a medical cancellation of a license, that is not protected by HIPAA. But if the doctor volunteers what is called "protected health information" then there may be a HIPAA violation. Such as if in-law says "I don't think Joe should be driving, what do you think?" and the doctor says, "Yes, he has high blood pressure, and I have diagnosed him with a traumatic brain injury and that makes him dangerous on the road"...that would probably be a HIPAA violation. So it really depends on what the doctor said in that conversation. The mere fact that he discussed the driving issue with the in-law is not in and of itself a violation unless the doctor volunteered confidential information. I am including a link here that is pretty thorough in defining what is protected health information to give you some guidance on that:

Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 3 months ago.

Did you require any additional information? If not, I would appreciate if you leave a positive rating so I get credit for my answers. I wish you luck with your father's appeal.

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